Apple's iTunes In the Cloud to be Called iCloud?

Apple's reportedly may have paid as much as $4.5 million to acquire the name

Apple's rumored iTunes-in-the-cloud service may be called iCloud, and the iOS maker may have paid as much as $4.5 million to acquire the new name, according to online rumors. Until recently, iCloud was the name of a free Webtop and online file storage service run by Xcerion, a company based in Linköping, Sweden. But anonymous sources have reportedly told GigaOm that Apple snapped up the domain iCloud.com from the Swedish company.

Techworld: How to get free iTunes music

If the speculation is true, and Apple has chosen a name for its new service, then we may be seeing Apple's rumored online music storage service soon. Perhaps as early as June during the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, as current rumors suggest.

Although, when it comes to naming new products, the rumors tend to fall flat. Remember the lead up to Microsoft officially naming its search engine Bing -- and the company's rumored efforts to snap up all the variants of Kumo.com?

Then again, Xcerion recently rebranded iCloud as CloudMe so the name was, or is, available. At the moment, iCloud.com currently redirects to CloudMe.com, and the Whois database lists Xcerion as the owner of iCloud.com through 2018.

[Check Out PCWorld's 9 Web-based Office Productivity Suites to find out more about iCloud, now CloudMe, and other online desktops.]

It would be a little puzzling for Apple to use a name like iCloud for its online music storage offering when iTunes is already such a recognizable brand. Who knows? Maybe Apple plans to rebrand MobileMe as iCloud to better reflect the fact that all of your stuff can be stored in the cloud including your music, contacts, e-mail, photos and documents. Current rumors suggest Apple is planning to relaunch MobileMe as a free service to compete with similar offerings from competitors such as Google and Microsoft.

Apple has yet to sign any licensing deals with the major music labels over its new online music locker, according to reports. So it's possible boardroom wrangling may still hold up the new service once the summer hits. Google is also reportedly stuck in talks with the music labels over its online music storage service, Google Music. Amazon, meanwhile, recently forged ahead with its own online music storage service, Cloud Player and Cloud Drive, without licensing deals from the music labels.

Connect with Ian Paul ( @ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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