Apple to Build Content Delivery Network: Reports

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Apple has hired employees with suitable backgrounds to be part of a new group that will be building out a new CDN, which could give Apple greater control of its service delivery quality and costs, according to various reports.

According to a report on investment site SeekingAlpha, it’s known that Apple has relied upon Akamai, and to a lesser extent Level 3 for the delivery of Apple content such as apps, iTunes video, and software updates. These reports have hurt Akamai’s earnings expectations, which largely depend on Apple, which reportedly paid Akamai more than $100M last year.

Among the many things that remain unclear in Apple’s alleged plans include the CDN’s scale, what regions it will reach, and the rollout timeline. There’s also the question of whether the CDN will be used for all content or whether it will be tiered. For instance, Apple might use its CDN for long tail content, which is generally less popular and might not be cached in many locations, or it might use the CDN for popular content offload long tail content on third-party CDNs.

Having control over the last mile of delivery will give Apple more control and security, which seems to be a logical move for a company that already provides customers other aspects of their experience including from hardware, to operating system, to media marketplace. And having control of content delivery would place it among other content syndicators like Microsoft, Google, and Netflix.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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