iTunes on the cloud, or whatever the heck that 500k square foot data center will be used for, may be close. That's if the following rumor is true.
Apple's much talked-about North Carolina data center is well underway to be operational by this spring. This is something we recently heard, but there was little noise on the subject in the weeks since. This comes from analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research, who spoke with Apple executives, according to website Macnn. The data center was reportedly scheduled to be running by late 2010, but delayed for reasons known by few outside of Apple, they say.
Further, Sacconaghi speculates that this data center could be a way for Apple to become a company focused on "differentiated services" rather than being known as a hardware company. Right now it's not quite clear what the data center will be used for but we've heard anything from expanding Apple's download services to offering iTunes on the cloud or adding stronger support for MobleMe features.
We can speculate all we want, but we don't know for sure. The guesses probably aren't too far off, but it would make perfect sense to hear about the data center officially by the time the iPhone 5 is officially unveiled sometime in early June, as Apple has done previously with their iPhone line.