Apple has been out shopping again and this time round, the company bought the domain icloud.net, along with a small Chinese social network that comes with it. Naturally, Apple has no use for the social network and has since shut it down.
Apple did not make any announcement regarding its purchase. TechCrunch first noticed this, and the fact that who.is information was updated only on Tuesday suggests that this happened not too long ago. No news has been given with regards to the price, but according to rumours, Apple paid about US$1.5 million (about RM6.8 million) for iCloud.net.
It’s not a surprise that Apple wants to take up all domains related to its products. The Cupertino company currently owns about 170 iCloud related domains including iCloud.us, iCloudsales.com, myiCloud.net and a whole lot more. Apple purchased the main domain, iCloud.com, back in 2011 for a whopping US$4.2 million (about RM18.7 million). A Swedish software company, Xcerion, previously owned iCloud.com and has since been rebranded to CloudMe.
So why is Apple purchasing iCloud.net only after six years since iCloud was launched? TechCrunch believes that it could be related to a new service Apple is rumoured to launch. The service is said to be similar to Snapchat and Instagram, whereby users are allowed to upload photos and videos, make simple edits like put filters on, and share it to contacts or upload it to existing networks like Facebook and Twitter. The product is expected to be launched sometime this year.
As for the iCloud.net social network, Apple will be shutting it down by the end of this month. The site, which was also launched in 2011, has sent out a message to its users telling them to delete their account, and stop sending emails to their @icloud.net address. According to iCloud.net, all data will be destroyed at 1 March 2017.