Apple aims to build a high-speed data network in an effort to provide enhanced content delivery and user experience to users of its various services, including iTunes, Siri and iCloud. The move is also seen as the company’s response to the increasing competition in the cloud computing industry against huge rivals such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon.
Up until now, Apple has been relying on traditional network providers and technology suppliers when it comes to delivering their services. These include iCloud for storing user photos and a additional content; iTunes for delivering music and movies; and its voice-activated assistant, more popularly known as Siri. While Apple intends to upgrade the company’s current infrastructure, it also plans to keep most of its existing vendors.
“User experience is very important to Apple, but delivery of its content is the one part of that experience it doesn’t control,” said analyst Andrew Schmitt of IHS Infonetics Research. “If they want to control and maximize that user experience, they’re going to have to control that last piece.”
During the company’s upcoming developer conference slated to begin in less than a week, Apple plans to unveil a streaming music service along with TV that is intended to become publicly available later in the year. For these reasons, the company will need a type of infrastructure that is faster and more efficient in order to provide a glitch-free delivery. It needs to be able to control the medium it will use in the delivery of its services.
In addition to building a faster network system and upgrading the current infrastructure, Apple also plans to focus on newer technologies in order to gain faster and more efficient data centers. Such a project is said to cost billions, but Apple is determined to spend that money and move forward with the plan.
The process would involve moving the network pipes that are used to connect the company’s various data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, Nevada, California and other locations much closer to Internet hubs in areas that are more populated. Apple will deliver its content to consumers through cellular towers and broadband network providers. Moreover, the company has been working on a way to provide data using fiber lines at a speed of hundreds of gigabits for every second.
“Apple has slowly built out its data centers in the past five years,” said analyst Tavis McCourt of Raymond James Financial Inc. “As they serve up more things from the cloud to more and more customers, they’re going to need to scale up.”