Amazon Web Services sales up again

Amazon SVP Andy Jassy.

And the AWS juggernaut continues. Sales of Amazon Web Services were up again year over year for the quarter ending March 31, 2014, Amazon reported in its earnings Thursday.

Net sales in Amazon’s “other” category, which encompasses AWS along with some other items, were up 60.5 percent to $1.204 billion for this quarter, compared to $750 million for the same period a year ago. Sequential growth from the fourth quarter of 2013 was just about 3 percent, up from $1.17 billion.

But a picture is worth a thousand words.

The usual caveats apply: these numbers tell us nothing about profitability, and the usual take is that Amazon, with its retail roots is not obsessed with profitability. But the prevailing wisdom now is that AWS is not a loss leader –the company does make money on these services. Until Amazon breaks out these numbers, though, we’ll never know for sure.

AWS, which had the public cloud market to itself for several years, is seeing increased competition from outsiders  — Google, Microsoft, IBM, HP, Verizon and VMware, as well as some newbies like Digital Ocean. Growth may come harder now.

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