CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Could storage maker EMC (EMC - Get Report) be the catalyst for Apple's (APPL) eagerly-anticipated shift to cloud services? Quite possibly, according to a bevy of analysts, who say that Apple's cloud plans are finally taking shape.
Apple and EMC, which report quarterly results Wednesday, are said to have clinched a deal that could soon take iTunes into the cloud. There is also chatter that Apple has lured one of Microsoft's (MSFT) top data center executives to its staff, further fueling cloud expectations.
Last week, Storagenewsletter.com reported that Apple had purchased 12 petabytes of storage from EMC's Isilon -- in real world terms, that's enough space to store the contents of all U.S. research libraries six times over. The Web site, citing a source within EMC's Isilon business, said that Apple was EMC's largest customer during the December quarter.
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"This report further supports our view that Apple is leveraging its recent data center investments to deliver media content through an innovative cloud architecture," said Bill Shope, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, in a note. "At first, this may launch as a service for storing users' existing iTunes content remotely, but over time it could morph into a full-fledged streaming media platform for iOS devices."