Apple may have paid millions for the domain name iCloud.com, but it seems to have left dozens of related domains in the hands of former iCloud owner Xcerion.
The company is expected to announce details of iCloud – rumoured to be some kind of cloud-based music service – at its Worldwide Developer Conference next week.
Unusually for notorious PR control freak Apple, the existence of the service was confirmed this week when Whois records were updated to show that iCloud.com had been transferred to the company.
This is a switch in domain name registration strategy for Apple.
With previous high-profile Apple launches, products have long been on the market before the company has turned its attention to the corresponding domain names.
The company paid north of $1m for iPhone.com in 2007. It still does not own iPad.com. It also recently filed a cybersquatting complaint over iPods.com, almost a decade after it was first registered.
And despite Apple's newly found foresight, name server queries show that Xcerion still controls more than 20 country-code domains – such as iCloud.us, iCloud.tv and iCloud.eu – which it defensively registered when it launched its own iCloud service.
It also owns domains such as iCloudWorld.com, iCloudReady.com and iCloudDrive.com.
Many are registered to one "Mr Bojangles", a purported Xcerion administrator.
The only other matching domain that seems to have been part of the reported $4.5m transfer deal is iCloud.org. The name iCloud.net is owned by a third party using a privacy service to mask their identity.
Interestingly, Whois records also show that iCloud.co.uk was registered in March this year, one month before the domain deal was first rumoured, by Dennis Publishing, publisher of MacUser magazine. ®