Apple Planning New Server Farm in North Carolina


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

The Charlotte Observer reports that North Carolina lawmakers are working on special legislation to give Apple, Inc a multi-million dollar tax break in order to entice the company to build an East Coast server farm to the state.
The tax breaks could be worth about $46 million in the next decade, assuming the company reaches its $1 billion investment target within nine years of starting, according to a memo by legislative fiscal staffers that does not identify the company. The memo said no current company meets the criteria to receive the tax break and the Commerce Department knows of just one with the potential to qualify.
Apple is identified as the company in question by a state official with knowledge of the recruitment efforts. The plan would target $1 billion in investments over the next 9 years which could be easily covered by Apple's nearly $29 billion in cash reserves.

While Apple makes the bulk of its income through hardware sales, the company has increasingly been positioning itself as a services company that require large server farms to support. Apple's iTunes service, of course, is likely the most demanding, but Apple has also worked to expand their MobileMe web services over this past year. The MobileMe launch was marred by outages and poor performance during the initial launch demonstrating the importance of the underlying infrastructure.

There have been reports that Apple may further expand their online services in the future with the possibility of web versions of some of their existing applications.

Article Link: Apple Planning New Server Farm in North Carolina


macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2009
So how many farms does Apple have now? and how does the size of this farm compare to the size of their current farm(s)?

could mean an entirely new service.


macrumors member
May 23, 2009
Leeds, UK
I can't wait to see what they do with this!
We're definitely overdue a big surprise form Apple - anyone agree?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2008
I think it's a cool thing that Apple is working to expand their target audience to people on the go with applications on the web for on the go.
And as always, more server farms! Woot! That's always a plus :p.


macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2007
Washington D.C. Area
Certainly an interesting prospect. It's interesting that they chose North Carolina in particular, although that likely has to do with the massive tax breaks. I wonder if the building of this server farm is simply to keep up with regular demand or if Apple has a special project up their sleeves in the near future that would require a lot of server space.


Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
Hopefully what ever they are planning to do with this, it will be good. Wonder how big it will be???


macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2008
What would be the benefit of another server farm? I don't really know what they do. :confused:
They power large-scale use of the iTunes store and web applications like MobileMe. The key to it being a server farm is that it's large-scale.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
Ah, corporate welfare, from the nation that brought you equality among men.


macrumors 68000
Feb 26, 2008
Moot. Apple isn't really a services company, and one of the great things about the company is that it knows what its market is.

Microsoft, for example, thought the internet wouldn't amount to anything and were caught on the back foot when it took off, so they went overboard on their internet services - introducing services such as MSN that really don't feed in to their core market of operating systems. MSN has gone through numerous organisational upheavals as it haemorrhages cash. Microsoft still don't understand their core market, and through "Windows Live", have still been trying desperately to make internet services a part of their market.

Windows Live started off sounding great, and it reached its peak when we got the first working demos of Photosynth. Since then, it's been diluted and gone through yet more organisational shifts and Microsoft simply fails to accept the idea that they are not an internet services company and it has nothing to do with their market.

Apple haven't fallen in to the same trap. They have the iTunes store, which has been positioned as a key part of the iPod/iPhone product. In that case, the internet service is treated as a tool (i.e. it's only available inside the iTunes application. The web aspect of it is hidden), and it's a direct part of Apple's market. .Mac didn't take off because it was a world away from Apple's market. They brought it closer in line with MobileMe, but it's still weak when you consider how it ties in to the Mac market.

Hopefully this isn't a sign that they're going to launch new services further from their market.

Remember the four M's: Market, Market, Market, Market.


macrumors regular
May 24, 2005
Isn't North Carolina always in the path of a hurricane or tropical storm yearly? Is it the wisest choice for a server farm location?


macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2009
north carolina, especially the triangle, RTP (research triangle park), SAS, is considered the silicon valley of the east coast. this choice for a location doesnt surprise me at all.
I live in raleigh, nc and ATT service is much better than I expected here.
I recently switched from verizon to ATT and the iphone.
its hard to notice the true speed of hte 3g network when using the iphone..but when i am tethered and using the connection on my laptop, i get full advertised speeds.


macrumors member
May 23, 2009
Southeast Trailer Park
They can build it here!

We've got a small piece of property next to the trailer. I'd love for Apple to put the farm right here. I'd even let them do it for nuthin except for maybe one of them tiny ipods.

Big Bass


macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2009
Looks like apple could one day be a giant, like google.
Why do people consider Google a giant relative to Apple? It's a rhetorical question, I know why, it's because people haven't adjusted to the fact Apple is no longer struggling and is extremely successful...

Just to prove the point, relative Market Caps:
Apple = $109Bn
Google = $124Bn
Microsoft = $175Bn
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