Mobile Bits: Apple Data Centers; Readability; ShopSavvy/Groupon

Apple: At the company’s shareholder meeting today, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) said that it is getting ready to open a new data center in North Carolina this spring. The facility will be 500,000 square feet, nearly five times as big as Apple’s sole existing data center in New Jersey, and there are reports that size could be doubled. The data center will be used to for Apple’s iTunes and MobileMe products — and that fact is now fuelling speculation that Apple might be preparing for long-anticipated (but never confirmed) cloud-based services for these products, creating options for streamed content (from iTunes) and a digital locker service (from MobileMe). (via AppleInsider)

Readability: More on the reading app that got rejected from Apple’s app store, prompting a cross open letter from the founder complaining about Apple’s in-app payment terms. Readability has now re-submitted the app to Apple with an “appeal/explanation”, according to a tweet from the company. Techcrunch points out that Readability hopes it can persuade Apple that it is does not sell content, but rather software-as-a-service. This is key because Steve Jobs reportedly penned a letter of his own, in response to a query from a developer, implying that SaaS would be exempt from IAP: “We created subscriptions for publishing apps, not SaaS apps.” (via Twitter, MacRumors)

ShopSavvy: Another shopping app is using Groupon APIs to add deals to its location-based service. ShopSavvy, which lets users scan in barcodes for products and then comparison shop for the same product from nearby or online retailers, has now incorporated a deals tab into the app, which also provides local information on discounts and offers via Groupon. Over time, ShopSavvy, which has 10 million users, says the deals will change based on a user’s own buying / scanning information. Shopping apps incorporating local deals seem to be the flavor of the month: a loyalty card aggregating app, CardStar, also integrated Groupon into its service a couple of weeks ago. (release)