Apple’s New Cloud Service to be Called iCloud?

Apple has allegedly bought for the sum of $4.5 million. The domain was previously owned by Xcerion’s cloud service that has now been rebranded to be called CloudMe.

A major revamp of Apple’s current cloud service, MobileMe, is expected to launch at WWDC this summer. Apple has also been talking with major record labels for the purpose of introducing a cloud-based media locker for customers.

Does this new domain purchase mean we’ve got the official name for Apple’s new cloud service? Seems like Apple wouldn’t drop $4.5 million on a domain for no reason.

GigaOM reports,

“My source, who is familiar with the company, says that Xcerion has sold the domain to Apple for about $4.5 million. Xcerion hasn’t responded to my queries as yet. At the time of writing, the Whois database showed Xcerion as the owner of iCloud.”

Although this news isn’t hard evidence, it does point to where Apple’s interests lie. Electronista clarifies that this domain purchase sets nothing in stone,

“Domain names aren’t necessarily a good guess as to Apple plans but sometimes show a passing interest. The company is well known for having owned several years before the first iPhone ever showed. Its moves are sometimes deceptive, as it had the iSlate domain late in 2009 only to name its device the iPad weeks later.”

MacRumors points out that we still need to see where the purchased domain officially ends up before an official conclusion can be made,

“Obviously, specific rumors of Apple acquiring the domain with a specific purchase price lend credence to the original speculation, but we’ll still be watching for the domain to officially change hands, presumably to MarkMonitor, the brand management firm that handles Apple’s domain registrations (along with those of many other high-profile companies).”

Something is definitely cooking in Apple’s cloud services division, and we’ll be seeing an update to MobileMe by this summer. If you recall, MobileMe’s paid signup was discontinued around two months ago. You can currently only sign up for a 60-day free trial. The company also bought 12 petabytes of storage for a rumored iTunes streaming solution.

Based on what we’ve been hearing, we suspect that MobileMe will be revamped as a free service. Apple’s media-based cloud locker (most likely called iCloud) will be around $20 a month and offer more features than the basic version of MobileMe.

As wireless carriers continue to cap bandwidth for smartphones, it’s becomingly increasingly difficult to justify streaming media content over 3G. If Apple really plans on going cloud-based in the near future, there’s a lot of re-ordering that needs to be done in the telecoms industry.

What do you think Apple is up to in the cloud department? Do you think that MobileMe and iCloud will be seperate products?