Apple is after more control of the user experience. The company currently controls its hardware and software, the iTunes Store and App Store platforms, but there is one missing link needed for complete control: the iPhone maker currently relies on third parties to deliver digital content to devices. And that’s about to change, according to an analyst (via CNET).
Dan Rayburn, principal analyst at business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, has head that Apple is building its own content delivery network (CDN) to address this “issue”. The iTunes Store owner currently relies on Akamai and Level 3 to deliver applications, software updates, and other content to its customers.
According to the analyst’s sources, Apple may be close to changing that, although little is known at this point. What appears to be certain, though, is that Akamai and its largest media customer are in contract renegotiations. Although the service provider doesn’t mention Apple by name, it is known that the iPhone maker spent more than $100 million on Akamai’s services last year.
I’m hearing that part of Apple’s reasoning for building their own CDN is because of performance issues with iCloud, with Apple wanting to have more control over the QoS of content going to their devices. Apple already controls the hardware, the OS (iOS/OS X) as well as the iTunes/App store platforms. Right now they control the entire customer experience, except for the way content is delivered to their devices. Since Apple does not own the last mile they won’t be able to have complete control, but having their own CDN would give them more control and security than they have now.
Major companies such as YouTube, Microsoft, and Netflix took their content delivery network in-house, so, for a company such as Apple, which places emphasis on outstanding customer experience, it could make sense to build its own CDN.