Less Cloud Dependence for Apple Means One Less Key Worker

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Apple Inc’s services gained a lot of weight in recent years. Under CEO Tim Cook, the premium tech maker put a lot of attention into enhancing its online products. This includes services like iCloud and Apple Music.

The public recently learned that Apple might be watering down its reliance on outside cloud services. It could be that, or the company no longer saw eye-to-eye with the head of its iCloud infrastructure. That role belonged Eric Billingsley before he left Apple Inc this week.

Apple’s iCloud, which the company uses to offer remote storage and application services to its customers, was launched in October 2011. It secured 125 million customers within 6 months of its release. Its momentum has gradually slowed, yet revenues from iCloud, clumped with other Apple services, continue to rise annually.

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Market watchers document this rise in Apple’s cloud, app store and music revenues well. Tim Cook said earlier this year that Apple’s Services unit will be worth as much as a Fortune 100 company. His assertion was a surprising endorsement.

Cook’s announcement was made in March and inspires confidence among investors. Apple had never been this vocal about that part of business despite its evident growth. However, the company has been pestered to shed its reliance on iPhone sales for the better part of 3 years now.

Dwindling iPhone sales and rising competition have investors concerned about the dependence on its flagship product. The week comes with news that a key iCloud employee has departed in the same year that the tech firm promised to bolster its services. Investors now ask themselves whether the event was a strategic decision or a mild setback.

The team which Billingsley led uses a host of external, public cloud vendors to support its iCloud infrastructure. It is more or less common knowledge that Amazon and Microsoft contribute to the efficiency of Apple‘s iCloud service. Partners like those two are in fact the bulk of Apple’s remote storage and cloud computing products.

Patrice Gauntier is the the VP of engineering. She now guides the team that was under the care of Billingsley. This is according to financial news giant CNBC this weekend. The news organization cites trusted industry sources in its report.

Users of Apple’s services might remember a recent event which proved the company’s dependence of outside vendors. Back in February 2017, Amazon’s Web Services experienced an outage. The problem did not only affect AWS users, but iTunes, Apple Music and iCloud users could not access their platforms as well.

New approach to Apple cloud services

It is Eric Billingsley who pushed the rise of the iCloud platform. He has a formidable track recorded under his belt, too. The former Apple worker occupied positions at Google and eBay before coming to Apple in 2013.

Billingsley’s departure from Apple Inc suggests that the firm has a renewed approach to it online services. It is likely that this new approach does not sit well with the former employee, or Apple does not see Billingsley fit to lead the iCloud team under the iCloud turnaround.

Investors as well as customers can recall numerous assertions from Apple, promising be less dependent on its suppliers. This does not exclude its services. The recent bid to adopt Toshiba’s memory chip business is one clear example. Apple’s adoption of display technology start-ups and music streaming businesses hint at its goals of greater independence, too.

A source says that the infrastructure of the iPhone maker’s data center has been problematic. The company might be putting things in place in order to effectively build on its services without having to turn to outside companies for their approval.

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