Maybe, but you’d need to stretch the definition of ‘the cloud‘ to get there. Email works in the cloud, as does Facebook, Instagram, et al, but remember this– paying customers is different than users. Apple’s many cloud-based businesses are a huge money maker.
Send In The Clouds
What got me to thinking about Apple’s cloud business was a friend who simply said, “When it comes to the cloud, Apple is getting its clock cleaned.” As in, ‘iCloud’ is a failure.
First, let’s define the cloud. A loose but encompassing definition is that ‘cloud computing‘ is where an application or service runs on multiple servers from a remote location. That’s fair enough.
The number of cloud services currently available probably is a staggeringly large number, and the number of computer users who connect to cloud services probably hits the billions.
So, the cloud is big business. How much of that business is profitable? That’s where we separate the men from the boys.
Apple is in the league for men. Remember, iTunes has nearly 800-million accounts, with well over half those paying customers. Add up all the pieces of Apple’s cloud business and we hit that staggering number again.
$20-billion of profitable revenue each year. Amazon doesn’t do that.
iCloud seems to be the face of Apple’s cloud business but that is more like the tip of the iceberg. iCloud services (sync, email, storage, etc), iTunes Music Store (music, TV shows, movies), iTunes App Store, Mac App Store, Apple TV are the easy ones.
We’re talking tens of billions in annual revenue that is highly profitable. Name another company that does that kind of business in ‘the cloud‘ with hundreds of millions of customers (that’s customers, not users)?
Among the technorati elite, Apple’s cloud business may not have the allure of Microsoft’s Azure or have hoodwinked Wall Street as Amazon’s cloud service has, but Apple’s cloud business is freakin’ huge, growing rapidly, and it makes money.
That’s how Apple’s cloud business rocks.