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Apple is shutting down the iCloud social network after quietly purchasing the iCloud.net domain. This has led to speculations of the Cupertino giant possibly planning to launch its own social networking app whilst also being hard at work in developing its 10th anniversary iPhone, which is expected to launch with the iPhone 8 moniker. 

Just this Wednesday, TechCrunch learned of Apple’s very subtle move of acquiring the iCloud.net domain from a small-time Asian social network. The domain is possibly the last one related to Apple’s products which was previously not in the company’s possession, so this could be an “It’s about time” move on the Cupertino giant’s end. 

Interestingly, the Tim Cook-helmed company could have bigger plans for this purchase since it was already found out that the social network will shut down by the end of February. In addition, all data present in the social networking platform will be destroyed the month after. The iCloud.net owner already informed the patrons of its site that it is retiring after doing its mission of providing a venue for people to share their activities and content like blogs, pictures, music and videos with each other. 

A tip to MacRumors claims Apple purchased iCloud.net for $1.5 million, but there is no means to verify this yet. The owner of the social network has already declined to comment or give details on the purchase. But looking back on Apple’s track record of domain name purchases, the company has definitely been generous with its deals. In 2011, it bought the iCloud.com domain name from Swedish company Xcerion for $5.2 million. As of late, it already owns more than 100 iCloud domains. 

Apple’s latest purchase has now revived rumors of it possibly developing and launching a social networking app that would rival Instagram and Snapchat. The tech giant will unlikely use “iCloud” for the name of this app, so perhaps Apple was only preventing the confusion when it introduces its own social networking service while the iCloud.net social network is still up. 

Apple is reportedly planning to launch its own social networking app. Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai