Apple has an awful lot of money. Perhaps as much as the U.S. Treasury at times, certainly more than President Trump, maybe as much as France (but not Germany). By some estimates, about $200-billion in cash at any one time.
With all that money what does Apple choose to do? Buy back stock at inflated prices. Give money to undeserving shareholders who think they own the company (but do nothing to help the company prosper). Meanwhile, Apple lags behind technology advances.
Jordan Novet at CNBC says Apple spends more than $30-million a month on Amazon’s AWS cloud services. Every month. Almost $400-million a year. Alright, that’s chump change for Apple but it adds up over time and very quickly equals the cost of building out a number of data centers which Apple could use for iCloud.
Apple’s cloud expenditure reflects the company’s determination to deliver online services like iCloud quickly and reliably, even if it must depend on a rival to do so.
Is it because Apple’s iCloud business is growing faster than the company can handle the growth with its own datacenters?
That’s likely the case.
In recent years Apple has used Google, Microsoft, and IBM cloud services, too, so a deal with Amazon should not come as a surprise. Plus, Apple’s new venture into Services– Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and App Store growth requires a larger data center footprint; perhaps more than the company can build.
In January 2018, Apple announced plans to spend $10 billion on data centers in the U.S. within five years. In December, Apple said it would spend $4.5 billion of that amount through 2019.
Well, so much for that idea.
Bohemian Boomer, Mac360, and the rest of the Villagers websites have used Amazon S3 for about a decade. It’s affordable and reliable. Only recently could I say that about using iCloud vs. Dropbox. I use both, but Dropbox works better for roughly the same monthly price.
With over a billion customers Apple needs cloud infrastructure to keep up with customer growth, customer usage of cloud services, and the growing Services products which are cloud-based. It just seems crazy to me that with a few hundred billion in cash just sitting around or being wasted on dumb-assed stock buybacks and frittered away to shareholders that Apple cannot figure out how to build a cloud service of its own and instead has to rely on a competitor.