Apple Inc plans to invest up to $1 billion over the next nine years to build a data center in North Carolina.

The data center would represent Apple's first on the East Coast of the U.S., said Apple spokeswoman Susan Lundgren.

Lundgren said Apple is not commenting on how the data center will be used, or on any other details about the facility, including its size.

Apple currently has a 107,000 square-foot data center in Newark, California, according to its most recent 10-K regulatory filing.

According to an announcement by North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue on Wednesday, the facility is expected to employ at least 50 full-time employees.

The announcement follows Governor Perdue's signing of a bill on Wednesday morning which modifies the way corporate income tax liability is calculated for capital intensive businesses in North Carolina, the Governor's office said in its statement.

Apple sells Mac computers and popular gadgets like the iPod music player and the iPhone. The company also has an increasing collection of Internet-based products, like its iTunes music store, which are used alongside its devices.

We're looking forward to building a new data center in North Carolina, and we appreciate the efforts of Gov. Perdue and state lawmakers who helped make it possible, Apple said in a statement. Our teams are getting started right away to acquire a site for the data center, and we plan to begin construction soon.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing Bernard Orr)