Tim Cook has said that internet services are a big focus for Apple this year. But the increased emphasis on online services like iCloud has been causing internal turmoil, according to The Information’s Amir Efrati and Steve Nellis report.
According to the report, one infrastructure division, which is led by engineers acquired by Apple when it bought Siri in 2010, has had one engineering manager resign recently due to “infighting,” which has led to speculation that Darren Hass, “head of cloud engineering” according to his LinkedIn profile, might leave as well.
The Siri-oriented division has been sparring with a division led by Eric Billingsley, a Google veteran, which currently runs the servers and software that power iTunes, iMessage, and iCloud.
While the report doesn’t go into what specifically the two divisions are fighting over, they clearly have “philosophical differences” about which software tools they will use and how they will update their software.
Apparently, the hope is that the platform Siri is based on will be advanced enough to power “some components of services like Game Center, CloudKit or Apple Maps” by later this year. It must be noted, though, that those clearly aren’t Apple’s top-tier online services. (That would be iMessage or iCloud.)
Online services pose a challenge for Apple, because most of the company’s expertise is in engineering devices, not online infastructure like servers and software. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Apple plans to stop paying competitors like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google for cloud computing resources, a separate initiative called Project McQueen internally at Apple.