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Report: Apple working on consolidating multiple Apple IDs

updated 02:05 am EDT, Fri September 16, 2011

Executive Relations spokesperson confirms change

Apple is working on a way to merge multiple Apple IDs into a single login, MacRumors is reporting based on a claim from an Apple representative from CEO Tim Cook's office. Users who either accidentally or deliberately have more than one Apple ID have found the issue to be the cause of unexpected hassle, and the coming iOS 5 and iCloud updates will exacerbate the issue. Until now, Apple has held that they cannot consolidate Apple IDs for customers.

Developers testing the two updates have found that Apple's policy of locking devices to a single Apple ID for a period of 90 days has become a major issue. Several have written of their concerns to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and some have received calls from his office in reply. One spokesperson said that the company understood how much of an issue the problem of multiple Apple IDs could be and that the company is working on it. The current advice until the issue is resolved, she said, was to pick a primary ID and make all future purchases from that account.

Apple may use the iCloud signup process to help weed out duplicate IDs, many of which users are unaware they have (for example, through expired MobileMe trials -- Apple does not recycle the IDs created from .mac and MobileMe accounts). It could also opt to warn and then de-activate accounts that have registered no or very little activity over a set period of time.

Still unanswered is the question of how those few users who have more than one account on purpose -- such as travellers who shuttle between countries and have iTunes accounts in more than one region, or developers who have developer accounts and non-dev accounts for testing -- will manage those accounts. [via MacRumors]

by MacNN Staff





  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    HeII yeah!

    That's what I need. Please make this happen, Apple.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I have multiple accounts in multiple countries and I have never had a problem dealing with them. I am not particularly intelligent or multitask-capable, yet I manage. Anyone who has problems with this must really be special.

  1. davlab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The problem is

    MobileMe made me create a new Apple ID for it, but all my purchase history is on my previous Apple ID. When I wanted to switch ISPs (and email address) I wanted to change my original Apple ID to my MobileMe Apple ID and email address, but it was not allowed, as illustrated above. I have the same problem with my wife and kids (all on MobileMe family plan). With the coming music sync and other features of iCloud, this will be a problem, especially if you are transitioning from MobileMe to iCloud.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple doesn't want multi-country accounts

    I have more than one Apple ID for one country but I also have an Apple ID for more than one country because I live in a non-English language country and need English language apps. For instance, if I use the Swiss App Store I end up with a German speaking Facebook app - the only way I can get this in English is to have a UK App Store AppleID. Similarly, when I went on holiday in the UK the only way I could download a set of Ordnance Survey maps (far more accurate than Google) I needed to use the UK Store.

    In Europe, despite a common currency in 17 countries, each country has its own App store (often with different prices) or they don't have one at all. So people set up accounts in other countries and then when Apple does open an App Store in them they end up with two IDs.

    Apple really has a terrible record when it comes to understanding how International markets work. Its focus is almost entirely on the US, despite more money being brought in from outside of the US from a much smaller market share. It really needs to cease and desist from controlling cross border downloads and multi-layer pricing. It leaves a very bad taste in the mouth when you are on the receiving end.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Adobe has had a similar problem with product registrations, a problem compounded when they bought out competitors and added them to their database. To their credit, on request they merge these registrations into one set. That saves a lot of trouble since troubleshooting and upgrade difficulties require their staff to track down your registration.

    Of course, Apple also shouldn't force users into one ID. Sometimes for business and accounting reasons, such things need to be kept separate. Users may need one ID for work and one for their personal life.

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Two Apple IDs suck for us MobileMe members going to iCloud. iCloud considers current MobileMe accounts as an AppleID. But most people have a separate Apple ID for the purchases.

    I had my purchase Apple ID set to my MobileMe address, but I can't with iCloud since it uses the email address as the Apple ID and gets confused.

    This isn't a hard problem to solve Apple. Its called aliases.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who can count

    Apple IDs are used for a lot (support forums, apple web site, iTMS purchases, .Mac accounts). And many people have multiple .mac accounts. Friends easily changed their ITMS account ID from a comcast account to a verizon account. But when I wanted to change mine from one .mac account to another: Sorry. I can even change it to an email account other than .mac, but not go back to an existing .mac.

    It's just all plain silly.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To paraphrase Steve Jobs...

    What is iCloud supposed to do? Then why the F**k won't it do that? It seems that everything WE expect it to do it will not be able to do - no Gallery, no syncing, no iDisk, no multiple AppleIDs, no effin clue. I hate having to say that about Apple, but it really is annoying.

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