Originally Posted by X38
Agreed, and I have been thinking exactly the same thing. With all their data center capacity and base of Safari users they could make a big entry into the search market overnight. They could take it a step farther and really 'disrupt' Google though - Google has been doing their own disruption by giving away software and services that others have traditionally sold in exchange for collecting user data that they then use to sell advertising, so that their only major source of revenue is their search based advertising. Everything else is essentially a loss leader for them. Apple on the other hand makes their money through traditional direct sales to end users of hardware, software, and services. They could provide a search rival to Google almost as an after thought. With iAd, they already have an Internet advertising structure in place. What would get really interesting is if Apple decide to give the advertising away for free and undercut to the point of zero Google's pricing on their primary revenue source just like Google has done to everyone else in the markers they've entered. It would be interesting to see if Google could even survive.
I have been wondering what the sudden explosion of interest in data centers is regarding at Apple. This isn't just the data center in Maiden, North Carolina. As we know, Apple is constructing data centers in Hong Kong; Prineville, Oregon; and Reno, Nevada.
Hong Kong ("unprecedented scale") groundbreaking rumored in 1Q2013
Newark, CA (108,000 square feet) acquired in 2006
Maiden, NC (500,000 square feet with 184,000 square feet of actual data center floor space)
Prineville, OR (projected for 338,000 square feet)
Santa Clara, CA (estimated to be to about 11,000 square feet of data center floor space) seven year lease signed in April 2011
Additionally, a mysterious company has been courting officials in Altoona, Iowa. Notably, one of the proposed zoning amendments would allow the operator of the data center to use on-site generation from solar panels, fuel cells and wind energy; a configuration thus far only used by Apple and eBay. Interestingly, this would easily be the second largest data center in the world.
Altoona, IA ??? (350,000 square-foot building and two buildings at 380,000 square feet total of 1.4 million square feet)