Amazon Makes Mac Commitment, Opening Door to Apple Developers
By Asa Fitch
Tech giants Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are joining forces to
support the growing number of companies developing apps and other
software for Apple devices.
Under the agreement disclosed Monday, Amazon is making Apple
computers available through Amazon Web Services, its
cloud-computing business--enabling Apple developers to make and
fully test apps remotely, rather than having to buy and maintain
their own versions of the machines.
This could aid developers who are at the heart of a software and
services strategy that is an increasingly important sales driver
for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple.
Initially, the Apple computers in Amazon's data centers will be
a version of the Mac Mini that has been available for some time,
but David Brown, an AWS vice president, said the hardware will be
updated as Apple launches new equipment. In November, Apple
unveiled a Mac Mini powered by a chip it designed, called the M1,
supplanting Intel Corp. chips. Mr. Brown said Amazon aims to
install M1-based Macs early next year.
"We're going to support the Mac operating system and Mac
machines--whichever ones customers want access to," he said.
Many developers of software running on non-Apple hardware have
been using cloud services for years. But to develop and test
software for Apple devices, they typically had to buy and maintain
their own Macs, given Apple's tight hardware-software coupling and
the lack of Mac hardware at major cloud vendors. Amazon is betting
that introducing Macs will allow companies developing software such
as iPhone and iPad apps to improve their offerings faster while
avoiding the hassle of managing and scaling up hardware.
Several companies have already started working with AWS's Macs,
including Intuit Inc., the developer of popular tax-preparation
software, and Amazon's own Ring video-doorbell unit, the Seattle,
Wash.-based company said.
The Macs that Amazon is using are essentially the same as those
available to the public, adapted to work with Amazon's cloud
networking and security infrastructure and with their Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth modules turned off, Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Brown declined to say how many Mac Minis Amazon was
installing, but said the scale was suitable a major cloud-computing
operation like AWS.
The other major cloud-computing providers, Microsoft Corp. and
Alphabet Inc.'s Google, don't currently offer access to Mac
Write to Asa Fitch at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 01, 2020 00:14 ET (05:14 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.