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Apple's MobileMe service set to debut

With MobileMe coming in to replace the .Mac service, subscribers should be prepared for a bit of downtime late in the day Wednesday.

Apple MobileMe box

Update at 10:08 a.m. PDT, with clarification on how users' e-mail will be handled.

Apple's MobileMe service is primed to be relaunched this week, ahead of the Friday launch of the iPhone 3G. That means subscribers to .Mac will find the service taken offline for a six-hour stretch as Apple makes the transition, according to a post in MacRumors.com.

The www.mac.com site will go down on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. PDT, leaving .Mac subscribers unable to access the site or use .Mac services, except for .MacMail via their desktop applications, iPhone or iPod Touch. In fact, existing .Mac users may have already noticed the ability to receive and send e-mail at an @me.com address if they so request. Other mac.com subscribers will be grandfathered in, allowing them to continue receiving e-mail at their mac.com address, while also receiving a new me.com address.

When the site relaunches as MobileMe, users will find a few changes, according to MacRumors.com:

The revamped .Mac service will offer Web-based e-mail, calendar, address book, photo gallery, and storage capabilities as well as "Push" sync services.

A one-year subscription to MobileMe will cost $99, which is similar to the .Mac price, but purchasers of an iPhone 3G will be able to score a subscription for $69 on Friday, the report notes.