Documentation from Apple has now reportedly confirmed that the long-time Google competitor is using the Google Cloud platform for at least some of its iCould user's data. That's following previous reports stemming from as far back as 2016, which indicated that Apple had made a switch from Microsoft's Azure platform to Google's. At the time, Apple remained typically mum on the matter but iOS Security Guide documents released by the company now confirm that switch has occurred – meaning that it now relies on Google Cloud and Amazon's Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform.
Of course, as is often the case with these types of arrangements, details about that usage are slim. While reports from previous years estimated the deal could be worth between $400 million and $600 million, there have been no financial terms revealed, as of this writing. It isn't even immediately clear to what degree Google's platform plays a role in Apple's offerings. Moreover, it's not likely that any of those details will ever come to light. It's possible, and even probable, that Apple leans on Google for services leaning more toward the storage of data than any of the computing capabilities of the Cloud platform. All the same, it's good news for Google since the company has consistently lagged behind Amazon – Apple's other partner in iCloud – when it comes to cloud-based services. The search giant has reported that its own Cloud services, including enterprise and education-focused G Suite offerings, amount to around $1 billion in revenue per quarter. For comparison, Amazon's AWS brought the company just over $5.1 billion in Q4 of 2017.
In the meantime, it isn't at all unusual for any tech company to turn to even its direct competitors in order to meet the needs of a service or product it is marketing. Apple has consistently reached out to prominent Android handset makers in the past for components to be used in its iOS devices. More recently, the company may have inadvertently moved one of those competitors, namely Samsung, ahead of itself in the market through just such an agreement. That deal saw Apple shelling out a substantial amount of money specifically for OLED displays and several other smaller components.