Apple's online services have undergone several transitions since their debut in 2000, from the original iTools, to the .mac service, and finally to the most recent me.com domain for MobileMe. Apple's latest transition to iCloud brings with it the use of the new iCloud.com domain; however, so far people have had to sign in with their old me.com accounts. Today Apple revealed it is starting to transition and allow users to use the icloud.com domain for their accounts.
In the changelogs for today's release of iOS 6 beta 3 to developers, MacRumors noted a section that states Apple is also enabling the use of the icloud.com domain for new and existing iCloud users:
"icloud.com email addresses are now available for iCloud mail users. Users signing up for new Apple IDs, or enabling Mail on their iCloud account for the first time, will automatically receive an @icloud.com email address instead of a me.com email address. iCloud users with @me.com addresses that have been used with iOS 6 beta 3 will receive an @icloud.com email address that matches their @me.com address."
While this suggests that the use of @icloud.com for e-mail addresses and usernames will soon be available, there is no indication of what this means for current iCloud users who have not yet had access to iOS 6, or who do not own an iOS device. While it is likely Apple will enable the new domain for all users, so far the information suggests it is directed for those using iOS 6.
Additionally, the announcement does not make any note of what will happen to the older @mac.com and @me.com domains Apple has had for its users, which some might speculate could be disabled and require users to announce updated contacts. While this might cause some concern, in the past when Apple switched to @me.com, it maintained the @mac.com domain to continue allowing proper delivery for messages addressed to it. It is likely that Apple will continue this trend with @icloud.com for those who have used its past services. While it may be that new iCloud accounts will not be addressable through the past me.com and mac.com domains, existing accounts should continue to function as they always have.