Apple has moved its iCloud services onto Google’s Cloud Platform, shifting away from its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for cloud infrastructure.
According to sources speaking to channel site CRN, Apple is spending between $400m and $600m on Google Cloud Platform, making it a significant customer of the Alphabet-owned company.
It is unclear if that spending relates to a fixed amount of storage and compute power or the annual sum Apple has agreed to pay Google.
The deal is likely to see Apple dramatically reduce its reliance on other cloud providers to support its consumer iCloud service, meaning Google has scored a major coup over its rivals, especially AWS and Microsoft Azure.
According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, Apple spent around $1bn on AWS services last year.
Apple has plans to build three new data centres over the next couple of years, which could see it put iCloud onto its own cloud infrastructure, meaning the use of Google Cloud Platform may be a temporary if lucrative deal for the search company.
Given Google and Apple are major rivals in the technology world, especially in the smartphone operating system market, it’s somewhat surprising that Apple is willing to get into bed with its competitor.
Such deals are not unusual, given how massively expensive and complex it can be to support hugely popular cloud services such as iCloud.
Having a significant part of iCloud infrastructure on another cloud platform could also go some way to shoring up the service which was recently hit by a disruptive outage, and notably received a high profile hack attack that saw nude pictures of celebrities leaked across the internet.