GigaOM reports that it has received word that Apple has purchased the iCloud.com domain name for a sum of $4.5 million. The domain had been used until recently by an online storage firm of the same, but the company recently rebranded its service as CloudMe.
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.
For the time being, iCloud.com redirects visitors to CloudMe.com, but presumably Apple will take over the domain when needed if the claim is in fact true.
We had received a heads-up about the iCloud-to-CloudMe rebranding last week, but were unable to dig up any information specifically linking the change to a purchase by Apple at that time. 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).
Apple of course is said to have completed work on a new cloud-based storage system for media, and appears to be in the final stages of securing deals with record labels before launching the service.