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North Carolina data center still on track for spring

updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed March 23, 2011

Apple becoming 'differentiated services' company?

Based on a talk with Apple executives, Apple's North Carolina data center should finally come online this spring, says Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi. The facility was originally scheduled to come online by the end of 2010, but was delayed for unknown reasons. Apple executives later claimed a new spring target, but until now there had been no subsequent update on progress.

Speculating, Sacconaghi proposes that the unusually large data center could help transform Apple from a hardware company into one based on "differentiated services." Some predicted changes include much more intensive download services, potentially impacting video, e-books and online ads in the same way Apple affected music and mobile apps. The company could for instance offer video streaming, either by competing with Netflix or buying it outright, Sacconaghi argues.

Other suggestions include cheap music streaming, possibly at $5 a month, or rumored cloud sync and storage through an overhauled MobileMe. Using its takeovers of Siri and PlaceBase it's thought that Apple could finally offer an iOS equivalent to Android's Google Maps Navigation.

One factor that may have delayed the data center is the sudden death of the project's director, Olivier Sanche, in November. Sanche was particularly experienced, having done streamlining at companies such as AT&T and eBay.

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple should buy Netflix. It's time.

    Netflix' market cap is $12 billion and rising. Last summer its market cap was only $3.4 billion. Anyone who wants to buy Netflix had better do it soon.

    So who exactly would want to buy Netflix? Amazon? Nope. Already have their own service. HP? Possibly, but quick! What company do you think of when you think "entertainment"? I'll bet you $100 it wasn't HP.

    How about Sony? Seems like a good fit, since Sony has hardware, retail, and media creation studios. Oops, Sony owns Columbia Pictures. Not sure the other five "Big Six" studios would like it if Sony controlled Netflix. (Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Disney, and Universal are the other five, if you had to know.)

    Apple TV already has Netflix built in. It works well, and it is a good complement to iTunes rentals and purchases. I wonder if there's a takeover deal already in the works.

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2011



    Comcast should buy it so they can shut it down and make us all pay for cable again. Or maybe AT&T so we can go over our data caps and pay fees.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wish to heck Apple would get that data center

    online because the suspense is killing me. I just hope it's cracked up to what it's rumored to be. Something akin to Apple's salvation, I hope. If it's not going to be used as an additional revenue stream, I sure hope it's something that can boost Apple's hardware sales. Investors are avoiding this stock like the plague and they're going to need something to pique their interest and hopefully the data center will be it.

    I still can't see why Apple didn't snap up Netflix when it had the chance early last year. Apple just doesn't seem interested in making any major purchases. If Apple had purchased Netflix, it would have given Apple some credibility in the eyes of investors. While Netflix shares are on the rise, Apple has gone into a swoon.

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