As Apple’s infrastructure continues expanding – more so with the upcoming release of iCloud+ – a report by The Information suggests the fruit company is ramping up its spending on Google’s cloud services. As of May 2021, Apple was on track to spend about US$300 million (~RM1.25 billion) on Google cloud storage services in 2021, about a 50% increase year-over-year.
Google received 470 Petabytes of additional user data from Apple in November 2020, increasing the total amount of data it has stored on Google servers to nearly eight Exabytes. As a rough estimate, a single Exabyte (imagine a million 1TB SSDs) is enough to store a video call that lasts for 237000 years.
Apple’s hunger for cloud storage space is so large, in fact, that Google staff have affectionately referred to it as “Bigfoot.” On a side note, for those worried about security, since Apple has exclusive control over the encryption keys, the security of the user’s data is exactly the same whether it is stored on Apple’s servers or Google’s.
Apple now appears to be Google’s biggest customer, with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, coming in second. Not nearly as much as Apple’s eight Exabytes of data on Google Cloud, ByteDance currently only stores approximately 500 Petabytes.
Cost calculators on Google’s website estimate that storing eight Exabytes of data costs about US$218 million (~RM905 million) per month. Again, Apple pays Google about US$300 million (~RM1.25 billion) per year storing the same amount. After Apple and ByteDance, Spotify was Google’s 3rd largest customer with about 460 Petabytes of data, Twitter came in 4th with 315 Petabytes, and Snapchat ranked 5th with about 275 Petabytes.
Amazon Web Services and Google both store iCloud data for Apple customers. But of course, the customer’s iCloud information is encrypted by Apple, so neither Amazon nor Google has access to it.
Further, even though AWS holds the lion’s share of the cloud storage market, Google has established itself as a noteworthy alternative. For example, Object storage, a Google cloud-based service that’s primarily designed to handle large amounts of audio and video files, as well as documents, is used by Apple.