Apple quietly building extensive new networks capable of delivering vast amounts of content to customers

“Apple Inc. is stitching together a network of Internet infrastructure capable of delivering large amounts of content to customers, giving the company more control over the distribution of its online offerings while laying the groundwork for more traffic if it decides to move deeper into television,” Drew Fitzgerald and Daisuke Wakabayashi report for The Wall Street Journal. “Apple’s online delivery needs have grown in the last few years, driven by its iCloud service for storing users’ data and rising sales of music, videos and games from iTunes and the App Store. But the iPhone maker is reported to have broader ambitions for television that could involve expanding its Apple TV product or building its own television set.”

“Snapping up Internet infrastructure supports all those pursuits at once. Apple is signing long-term deals to lock up bandwidth and hiring more networking experts,” Fitzgerald and Wakabayashi report. “Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for International Internet Exchange, which helps companies line up Internet traffic agreements, estimates that Apple has in a short time bought enough bandwidth from Web carriers to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second. ‘That’s the starting point for a very, very big network,’ Mr. Norton said.”

“The company’s need for bandwidth and supporting infrastructure will grow if it moves further into television. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said improving the TV viewing experience is an area of interest for the company and that it has a “great vision” for television,” Fitzgerald and Wakabayashi report. “On a conference call last week to discuss its latest earnings with analysts, Mr. Cook said Apple is on track to break into new product categories this year, fueling speculation about a new television or revamped video service.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One of the main problems with Apple TV, right now, is the cable company’s modem (and God knows what throttling) and/or convoluted Internet routing that sometimes causes Apple TV content to stop playing in the middle of a movie or TV show (usually prompting some people in the room to incorrectly blame Apple and/or the Apple TV unit).

30 Comments

  1. There hasn’t yet been a proper explanation of what those huge server farms are for.

    This looks like another classic example of Apple quietly putting all the ducks in a row before announcing something really big.

    1. I really hope this is the case. I figured they would use some form of satellite to get their foot in the door. Putting cable to everyone’s door seems like an impossible task for Apple, but hopefully we find out soon.

    2. Could be, although why do one after the other doesn’t make sense. Unless they are growing the network of server farms to support existing applications whilst including additional capacity for the next new thing.
      Dumb pipe throughput is still going to be an issue. The cable companies hold us by the goalies at the moment.

      1. At the moment and for the moment only…Apple will definitely ensure with time and steady development pace, that it’s customers get the best performance and aren’t choke held by the dumb pipes of old.

    3. Apple’s investments in media distribution have been inconsistent, so let’s hope that it finally gets its act together. Somehow, however, I have the uneasy feeling that this is just intended to push more iAds into iBeacons. Thousands of ad firms proved that a company doesn’t have to build anything in order to rake in billions — and Apple has quietly moved in that direction. Like the internet, iOS is now an overcomplicated mess of ads and “in-app purchasing”, and constantly data-mined and location-tracked by Apple and others. Yet somehow, iOS users just shrugged. As long as Android has more viruses, iOS users seem not to notice how crappy the experience has become.

      If I am wrong — and i hope I am — perhaps Apple will finally deliver a meaningful AppleTV experience with full HD content and ad-free a-la-carte media delivery including up-to-date news and sports. Even if priced high, the end of ads and long-term overbundled subscriptions would be nirvana.

    4. Yes, there hasn’t been a proper explanation because these talking head idiots have never asked! When Apple did the iOS 7 upgrade they shut down networks all around the world. Not one asked, how long has Apple had the ability to supply this much data and how much bigger is their multi-continent billion dollar server farm expansion going to be? Complete with solar power and fuel cells for when the power grid can’t supply the requirements of the server farms.

      Do they really think Apple is only building 5 server farms because Apple hasn’t told them about the others. Will anyone look to see who is buying billions of dollars of required materials and equipment to build these server farms and where are they being shipped too? Google and Samsung are winning. Really? Round 2 is coming up and the domination is about to begin! What other network capacity is Apple buying under another name and what else can’t Apple buy with a few BILLION in the bank.

  2. I’m 99.9% sure that Verizon FiOS throttles.

    I get a “loading” message after every commercial break when I watch the Big Bang Theory on the TBS, Fox and Adult Swim apps.

    TV shows I’ve bought and play on my iTV always stutter and take a while to start.

    YouTube content is constantly stuttering or loading.

    Surprise, surprise though Verizon’s own ondemand content loads and plays like a champ.

    1. Oh I think it is a 100% given that both Verizon can Comcast are throttling competitors content.
      And though I am a pretty dyed-in-the-wool libertarian I don’t think you can let utilities (particularly national utilities) have a “side” businesses where they can choke out any and all competitors. Comcast and Verizon should both be split into separate content sales & ISP divisions. (to prevent them from using their ISP to choke other content providers out of business
      This is what the president’s goon squad (DOJ) should have been doing instead of attacking Apple for having an “e-books” monopoly.

  3. It’s time for Apple to revolutionize the internet!

    And maybe, eventually, they will be able to cut carriers out of the equation completely for the iPhone. Not gonna hold my breath, but it’s nice to dream about, eh?

      1. Nice language, breeze. It would be interesting to hear your vulgar, trailer-park opinions about Icahn’s proposal if you actually owned any AAPL. Clearly, your fourth-grade, street level education and cincomitant negligible earning power preclude such a scenario, however. So keep on bloviating, brother. You are good for a laugh, at least.

        1. Yello, is that a derivative of jello you stooooopid dumb analytic fail fuck? Where’d you learn your theories of DD deduction and all those mis applied smart words? I’ve owned AAPL before you even heard of Apple dickhead.

  4. Unfortunately, in the UK at least superfast broadband just isn’t widespread enough to support replacing tv content for an entire family.

    I have two connections to try and support all our devices, and hopefully we’ll get fibre shortly, but I don’t see it being fast enough to satisfy demand at all times. Sometimes we’ll have people watching HD sport in one room, a movie in another, and something else in the kitchen. With sport especially you can have that on all day. Even if it’s at times only background noise that’s a lot of bandwidth and data. I think there is still room for broadcast material for a long time yet.

    1. I’m also in the UK, but living in the countryside ( Oxfordshire ). We’re not very far from an exchange, but that exchange is not slated for upgrading for faster broadband, so we’re unable to watch even one simple BBC iPlayer stream without it stalling. I have friends in the US who complain of similar issues,

      Broadband is an essential utility these days and more should be done to get acceptably fast broadband to the entire population.

  5. I NEVER have problems streaming through my Apple TV. But when I rent content through Cox On-Demand, it is consistently worse quality and often buffers and stutters throughout. Likewise, Netflix content often buffers or stalls out completely, especially on weekends. We try to go with Apple only these days.

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