Analyst: Apple may decrease its use of Amazon cloud computing services

In a note to clients — as noted by Barron’s — Morgan Stanley analyst Brain Nowak says Apple may decrease its use of Amazon’s AWS cloud computing services.

AWS is a collection of web series that make up a cloud-computing platform offered by Amazon. These services operate from 12 geographical regions[ across the world. Amazon markets AWS as a service to provide large computing capacity more quickly and more cheaply than a client company building an actual physical server farm.

Map showing the approximate geographical regions used by Amazon Web Services.

Map showing the approximate geographical regions used by Amazon Web Services.

Nowak notes that Apple has announced three data center openings over the next two years -- a “command center” for its global data centers in Mesa, Arizona (planned opening in 2016) and one data center each in Ireland and Denmark (planned opening in 2017). 

“In total, we estimate Apple is building approximately 2.5 million square feet of data centers to power iCloud storage, iTunes, App Store and other services …  nearly 40% of AWS’s 6.7mn square feet in data center capacity at the end of 2015,” he adds.

Morgan Stanley's Katy Hubert thinks Apple spent a billion dollars on data centers last year, including money paid to Amazon, so moving away from AWS could save the company big bucks. Not that this will happen overnight; it will probably take a year or two for Apple to switch from Amazon.