Analyst: Apple Data Center to offer Streaming, Cloud Storage

Following a meeting with Apple executives, Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi thinks he knows what’s in store for the company’s still unfinished North Carolina data center: “differentiated services,” such as video and music streaming, and cloud-based data storage. The mystery data center was originally expected to go online before the end of 2010, but now is projected for a spring 2011 launch.

According to Mr. Sacconaghi, Apple has a laundry list of services planned for the data center, including more robust product downloads, free cloud-based storage, music and video streaming, and voice-based navigation services.

Apple, North Carolina, and Data CentersApple’s North Carolina data center should open this spring

Assuming Mr. Sacconaghi is right, Apple’s plans for its new data center are hefty. He expects Apple will be able to use the facility to change how the ebook, video and online advertising markets work, just as it did for music downloads and mobile apps.

The center may also be the hub of a new cloud-based data synchronization system and free online storage service, a low-cost music streaming service center, and a video streaming service that competes with Netflix. Mr. Sacconaghi even speculates that Apple may buy Netflix for its movie and TV show streaming features, according to Fortune.

As if all of those services aren’t enough to keep the data center busy, he thinks Apple may be planning to leverage its PlaceBase and Siri purchases to run its own voice-based navigation service, too.

Apple hasn’t publicly confirmed, or even discussed, its plans for the North Carolina data center. If Mr. Sacconaghi did manage to accurately interpret Apple’s plans for the facility, it will likely be busy as soon as it officially opens.

Apple’s stock is currently trading at US$341.05, up 1.86 (0.55%).