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]