Apple’s Cloud Business Relies On—And Continues to Invest In—Amazon Web Services

Apple doesn’t accept defeat often but this week the tech giant has reportedly signed a deal to spend at least $1.5 billion with Amazon Web Services over the next five years.  AWS, of course, is Amazon’s market-leading cloud service and computing platform.  

This new deal is not actually the first time that Apple has invested in Amazon’s technology. As a matter of fact, the iPhone maker has spent, on average, more than $30 million on Amazon Web Services every single month during the first quarter this year.  That is a gain of more than 10 percent from the same period last year. 

Should these conditions hold up Apple will be on track to spend more than $360 million on Amazon Web Services this year.  That is $10 million more than last year, according to a report from CNBC.  And, of course, a new five-year deal means that these numbers will quite likely continue to increase every year.  As a matter of fact, some analysts estimate that should Apple’s investment continue to increase at the same rate, they will most likely spend more than the minimum $1.5 billion mandated in the deal’s contract. 

This same report notes that Apple has said, in the past, that it utilizes AWS to support its iCloud storage, but no specifics about this association have been divulged.  And Amazon has neither chosen to reveal whether it uses AWS for any other services.  Of course, it should also be noted that Apple had previously reported it also uses some of Google’s cloud services as well as some technology from Microsoft, too.

Apple reports that more than 1 billion people use Apple devices, regularly, every month.  Obviously, then, this means they have immense computing and storage needs. All that said, Apple is currently at work trying to build its own cloud infrastructure, intended to improve the company’s ability to deliver internet services without having to rely on its friendly competitors. In fact, in January of 2018, Apple plans to spend at least $10 billion on US-based data centers. Then, in December, Apple revealed plans to spend nearly half of that allotment through 2019.