Apple appears to be anticipating a stronger demand for its iCloud services as the company is set to increase its usage of Google Cloud storage solutions significantly this year. The Cupertino company is believed to be using Google cloud services as early as 2016 and they have confirmed it in 2018. Besides Google, Apple is also utilising Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its cloud storage needs.
According to a report by The Information, Apple is currently on track to increase its spending on the Google cloud platform to around USD 300 million (about RM1.245 billion) this year which is a 50% increase from 2020. Despite the rivalry in the mobile operating system space, Apple is currently the largest client for Google’s cloud storage service, beating other tech giants such as ByteDance and Spotify.
It is said that Google is managing more than 8 exabytes ( 8 million TB) of data for Apple and that’s 16x more than ByteDate which utilises 500 petabytes (500,000 TB). Due to the sheer size of the volume, it is said that Apple was given the internal nickname “Bigfoot”.
To keep users’ data safe and secure, all iCloud data stored on Google and AWS are encrypted end-to-end with security keys that are owned exclusively by Apple. This means storage partners such as Google will not be able to decrypt the stored data without the keys.
In 2020, Business of Apps reported a total of 620 million subscriptions for Apple’s services alone. This is a 29% year-on-year increase from 480 million subscriptions recorded in 2019.
During the recent WWDC 2021, Apple had announced iCloud+ which offers new privacy features. This includes unlimited storage for HomeKit-enabled security cameras and the ability to relay your internet traffic through a VPN-like service. With iOS 15, Apple will also temporarily increase your iCloud storage to as much as you need for up to three weeks if you need to backup or transfer data between iOS devices over the cloud. This is a great convenience for iPhone users that don’t subscribe to additional iCloud storage.
At the moment, Apple is still offering a measly 5GB of iCloud storage for free to all users. If you need more, 50GB of iCloud storage costs RM3.90/month and 200GB of storage will cost you RM11.90/month. The highest option at the moment is 2TB of storage which is going for RM39.90/month.
Last year, they introduced Apple One which provides greater savings by combining content services with iCloud storage. The individual plan at RM19.90/month gives you access to Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and 50GB of iCloud storage. There’s also the Apple One family option at RM33.90/month which provides the same perks but with 200GB of storage and you can share it with up to 5 other people.