updated 11:20 am EDT, Fri October 22, 2010
Current facility already abnormally massive
Apple is already considering doubling the size of its North Carolina data center, sources tell All Things Digital. The facility -- which has yet to begin normal operations -- currently measures 500,000 square feet, unusually large by Apple standards. Another Apple data center in Newark, California is roughly a fifth the size.
Why Apple would want to expand the center is unclear, particularly as the purpose of the existing space is a mystery. A number of reports have suggested that it could be used to stream iTunes content, providing access to personal music or video content anywhere. Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes argues that the company may be interested in creating a broader cloud service, capable of hosting "photos, videos, games, music and other entertainment -- eliminating the limitations and expenses of excess storage."
An expansion could provide extra benefits to the community around the center, including the town of Maiden and surrounding Catawba County. The building is already expected to create 50 core job positions, plus some 250 "auxiliary" jobs and 3,000 peripheral ones. In total the center is believed to be worth about $1 billion.