Apple is showing signs of possibly moving away from Amazon Web Services, and instead building its own data centres to power its online products, Morgan Stanley wrote in a note Monday.
The note said that Apple is planning to open 3 new data centres over the next 2 years, bringing its total to 7 worldwide. In total, that would be roughly 2.5 million square feet of data centres, or nearly 40% of the 6.7 million square feet AWS used by the end of 2015.
“We believe this build is a signal that Apple is increasingly likely to move away from AWS in the next 18-24 months,” the report said.
It also pointed to the fact that Apple indicated higher data center expenditures for the upcoming year, and the size of Apple’s Services revenue, which includes iTunes and App Store purchases, growing to $31 billion last year as evidence of a stronger push towards its own cloud infrastructure.
If true, this move could have a pretty sizable impact on AWS’s revenue, as Apple is expected to spend roughly $1 billion on AWS this year, accounting for almost 9% of the cloud computing service’s 2016 sales estimates, the note said.
In the most recent quarter, AWS had $2.4 billion in revenue, up 69% from the same period of last year. For the full year, it generated $7.8 billion in revenue, and said it’s expected to generate roughly $10 billion in 2016.
Morgan Stanley didn’t give a clear reason for Apple’s possible departure from AWS, but it could be due to the two companies’ increasingly competing nature across the app market and content streaming business. Apple might think it’s safer and more efficient to run its own data center, too.
But it would also be a decision that runs in contrast to what a lot of other big companies are doing lately. In addition to the smaller startups that accelerated AWS’s growth, more and more big companies, like Netflix, General Electric, and Capital One are moving their workload to AWS, shuttering their own data centres.
It’s why some investors believe there will be an “Amazon Tax” in the future, where companies will be expected to pay AWS a fixed fee every year, as they increasingly rely on AWS to run their services.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.