Apple announced CloudKit back at WWDC 2014 but before then they, and Dropbox, were reportedly interested in Parse, a mobile development framework that ultimately went to Facebook for $85 million. According to The Information:
[Ilya] Sukhar, a mobile programming prodigy, had already rejected offers from Apple and Dropbox, which were more interested in the company's four talented founders than its business, according to people who were involved in the conversations. Facebook persuaded Mr. Sukhar and his colleagues that it had much bigger plans.
Parse is still very much involved in the ecosystem by announcing support for Swift. Apple's CloudKit is very similar to what Parse offers, but Sukhar defends his product saying "I think Facebook and Parse are the only cross platform solution that's really dedicated to being kind of a neutral party." By the sounds of things Sukhar is a very driven developer, and individually could have been a great addition to Apple. With the launch of Swift and CloudKit, he could have made significant contributions, but how much control he would have in the process is anybody's guess.
Did Apple miss out on a great opportunity here, or are they better off owning their own destiny — and key values and blobs! — with CloudKit?
Source: The Information