David and Goliath, Rocky and Apollo Creed, Tom and Jerry. These are some of the iconic double acts that are fierce rivals in their respective worlds. Yet without each other, they would not be the legends that we know today. Now it might be time to add another famous double act into the mix. Apple and Google. This is because of the news that Apple has now become the largest customer of Google Cloud Storage.
As more and more companies are realising their digital transformation journeys, the transfer of data to the cloud is happening on a huge scale. Apple has been on this journey since October 2011 when they first launched iCloud as a cloud storage and cloud computing service and have seen it grow to an estimated 850 million users in 2020. With this many users, a lot of storage is required. So much so that Apple reportedly has a nickname from Google employees who refer to them internally as "Bigfoot".
Who are the other top storage users on Google's books? Here are the top five Google Cloud Storage customers:
Apple - 8 Exabytes.
ByteDance (owners of TikTok) - 470 Petabytes.
Spotify - 460 Petabytes.
Twitter - 315 Petabytes.
Snapchat - 275 Petabytes.
Clearly, Apple is far and away the biggest customer of Google Cloud Storage. Back in November 2020, Apple purchased an additional 470 Petabytes of storage from Google that increased the total amount of storage with the Internet Behemoth to a staggering eight Exabytes. To put this amount of storage into perspective, one Exabyte of storage is enough to store a video call lasting over 237,000 years. This increase in storage is an increase of about 50% year-over-year and is costing Apple around USD $300 million a year. This seems like a lot of money but when you use the calculator on Google's website to get an estimated cost of storing eight Exabytes of data, Apple seems to have struck a very good deal as the calculator says it should be costing them USD $218 million per month.
The question remains as to why Apple would be spending so much money to rent this cloud storage space but one can only presume that either it is more profitable for a company to rent such large amounts of storage space or that Apple simply does not have the time or the desire to build their own data centres. It is important to remember that although Apple chooses to store their data externally with companies such as Google Cloud Storage and AWS, the customer's iCloud data is encrypted by Apple and this is not shared with the storage providers.