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Apple to double size of North Carolina data center?

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh, boy! Apple's getting ready for a big push

    into the cloud. Maybe things are going better than even Apple expected. If the rumor is true, why would Apple suddenly need twice as much storage as it intended to build. Is it for room to grow or a sudden immediate need. At least there'll be no concern about where to get the cash from. Ah, the economies of scale. Apple can start buying 3TB drives by the thousands. Of course, I don't know if they're suitable for use in a data farm. Instead of dividends, Apple can start giving away free cloud storage to users.

  1. beb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm in North Carolina!

    Seems kinda nice from where I sit. Hopefully, more jobs. Hark! I see an opening for janitorial services. I gotta be qualified for that.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free services?

    Apart from addicting a lot of people to streaming music and movies in the face of stiff competition, perhaps the only way this makes sense is if Apple is planning to offer free 'cloud' services in exchange for some minimum requirement.Perhaps keeping your Mac OS up to date or buying a new mobile gadget every couple of years will gain you free access.

    Otherwise, it is hard to see how Apple can expect to compete with NetFlix or Dropbox. In the cloud file synching by Dropbox is far better than anything Apple currently offers and it's free for all but the heaviest users. Why change, particularly since more and more OS X and iOS apps are building in support for Dropbox.

  1. WTEffyall

    Joined: Dec 1969


    advanced television

    While content providers waste years trying to figure out how to monetize a radically new technology model, Apple will sneak up from behind and poke a hole in their Canoe.

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