A file update on Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) website last month indicated that the smartphone maker is relying on Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOG) Google public cloud platform for data storage for its iCloud services, reports CNBC. (See also: Apple's HomePod Threatens Amazon Echo's Top Spot.)
Apple was rumored to have used Google's cloud service in 2016, but the reports were never confirmed until the latest version of the company's iOS Security Guide last month.
The news implies that the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is no longer using remote data storage systems provided by Amazon.com Inc.'s (AMZN) Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Azure, Google's main cloud competitors. In March, when Apple made the most recent update to its iOS Security Guide, stored as a PDF file, it still listed Azure instead of the Google Cloud Platform.
Google Cloud Wins Business
The report does not confirm whether or not Apple uses Google's cloud services for anything other than core storage of "objects" like photos and videos. There is also no indication of when Apple made the switch to rely solely on Google.
Google, which has lagged behind Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud space, reported revenues from its public cloud and G Suite of cloud-based productivity apps at $1 billion per quarter. By comparison, in the most recent fourth quarter, Seattle-based e-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon posted a 45% spike in AWS revenues, to $5.11 billion for the quarter.
Google cloud is still a drop in the bucket for Alphabet, which raked in $32.3 billion in GAAP revenue or the first quarter. Moving forward, the firm will continue to double down on efforts to build out its cloud business. Currently, Google cloud accounts for just 3% of its total revenues, as advertising remains its largest business, bringing in $27 billion in revenues in the most recent quarter. Google's other public cloud customers include the grocery behemoth Kroger Inc. (KR), digital payments provider PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL), social media platform Snap Inc. (SNAP) and leading music streaming service Spotify. (See also: 3 Reasons Why Apple's Shares Will Outperform.)