Insiders blame iCloud technical issues on ‘open conflict’ between Siri and cloud teams at Apple

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A report Thursday published by the former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin’s outlet, The Information, paints a gloomy picture for Apple’s efforts to move its cloud services 100 percent in-house. That process has been slowed by “political infighting” as the company’s iCloud and Siri engineering teams are now “in open conflict”.

The infighting is so bad, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, that at least one key employee has already departed, “with more expected soon,” reads the full report behind a paywall.

iCloud issues

“Political infighting within Apple’s engineering ranks is holding back the company’s efforts to fix technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes,” as per The Information’s opening paragraph.

Steve D’Aurora, an engineering manager in a team led by Patrick Gates, is said to have resigned last week over the ongoing conflict. His superior, Darren Haas, who is a “head of cloud engineering,” might be leaving soon, too, the report asserts.

On the other hand, both executives joined Apple via its 2010 acquisition of the Siri voice assistant so their departures might also be part of planned exit strategy.

icloud down

Project McQueen

Apple runs several multi-billion-dollar data centers around the world, including existing or upcoming facilities in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Ireland and Denmark. Most of these data centers are dedicated to streaming and delivering media content to Apple’s humongous user base. Many iCloud services, however, run on third-party platforms.

Apple’s rumored Project McQueen should see the company pour significant resources into building its own cloud infrastructure in-house in order to reduce its dependence on Amazon’s Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Cloud Platform.

The new infrastructure is meant to help improve the reliability of iCloud and Apple’s other apps. “The infrastructure work has taken on added significance this year” as Tim Cook hinted that Apple will double down on service, The Information said.

Eddy Cue manages Siri and iCloud teams

Apple’s Internet software and services are led by Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, who is charged with overseeing Apple’s content stores including the iTunes Store and Apple Music, as well as such services as Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, iAd and iCloud.

Therefore, any political infighting which might negatively impact Apple’s planned move to in-house services is entirely Cue’s fault. Cue joined Apple in 1989 and was instrumental in creating the Apple Online Store in 1998, the iTunes Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008.

Phil Schiller takes over App Stores from Cue

His roster has grown tremendously over the years as Apple’s services have evolved and new ones got introduced. Last December, however, an internal shake-up at the top had Senior Vice President Phil Schiller, who handles Apple’s worldwide marketing efforts, take over App Stores across all platforms from Cue as Apple advances its ecosystem “from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business.”

Source: The Information