Apple Dropping Akamai in Favor of Google? I Don't Buy It

 |  Includes: AAPL, AKAM
by: Dan Rayburn

That's the question that dozens of people have been speculating on and asking me about this morning. Swiss American Securities, a division of Credit Suisse is saying that it has learned that Apple will no longer use Akamai. They see Apple dumping Akamai for a Google-based content distribution network and expect Apple to announce that next week at Macworld.

I don't have any details on this "rumor" either way, but I highly doubt it and don't believe the information. Apple has spent many years working with Akamai to get the iTunes service down to a science and Akamai has a large infrastructure in place specifically for delivering live QuickTime content. I don't see Google building out a QuickTime infrastructure and supporting the kind of delivery Apple needs. I know many will say they are Google, they can build anything they want. Yes, they can, to a degree. But what would Google get from delivering Apple's content? How does this tie into Google's core advertising business? And what does Apple get from this? Maybe a lower price but it would have to be more than that for Apple to move CDN providers.

I just don't buy it. I don't see any value that Google or Apple would get from doing this. Now Apple could work with Google on some video initiatives and partner on things for the iPhone, Apple TV and what not, that would not surprise anyone. But replacing Akamai for Google for all of its content delivery, I don't see the rationale.

There was an Apple RFP out in the market a few months back for some CDN business, but it was not for all of their content, was not a large deal and from what I understand, Apple pretty recently re-signed with Akamai.

Update: Swiss American Securities just called me after reading my blog post to let me know that they have no record of any at Swiss American Securities saying that Apple plans to drop Akamai and switch to Google for their content delivery.

Many analysts all sent me the same supposed quote this morning from Swiss American Securities but interestingly enough, no one seems to know where the quote actually came from, who said it, and where it was first reported.

Another reason why I am glad I am not a financial analyst. Way too much speculation without facts.