It has emerged that Apple is storing some of its users' iCloud data on Google's computer servers. Apple had previously acknowledged using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure's rival cloud computing platforms in addition to its own data centres. The deal is a coup for Google, which lags behind Amazon and Microsoft in the market for powering third-parties' online services. None of the services would have access to iCloud users' records. "The iCloud information is not at risk of being breached or otherwise observed by the ultimate owners of the platforms it resides on because of the very heavy encryption and partitioning technologies used," commented Chris Green, a tech expert at the consultancy Lewis.
The news site CRN was first to report the deal. It said Apple sealed the agreement with Google's Cloud Platform division late last year. Both tech giants declined to comment, however the BBC was able to independently confirm the arrangement. It may seem surprising to those who view the two companies as bitter rivals. But Apple still puts Google as the default search engine on its mobile devices and has previously shown willingness to have business dealings with other competitors as well, not least Samsung which makes some of its components.
The news may, however, cause concern for investors in Amazon since it follows the announcements that Spotify and Dropbox recently moved operations off AWS. Amazon, however, has played down the latest development. "Vendors who understand doing business with enterprises respect [non-disclosure agreements] with their customers and don't imply competitive defection where it doesn't exist," it told CRN.