Apple’s iOS 5 and iCloud have yet to officially launch and frustrations about the new offering are already surfacing. Thanks to developer versions released just after the WWDC 2011 announcement, many users have already gotten their hands-on and are now complaining about an issue with Apple’s policy on multiple Apple IDs.
For various reasons, some users have multiple Apple IDs. Some intentionally manage more than one Apple ID, while others may have ended up with more than one due to working in different countries. Others still, have only recently discovered that they have inadvertently created more than one Apple ID in the past. These users are now faced with Apple’s restrictions for automatic downloads and cannot consolidate their Apple ID accounts.
It is one of the FAQs on Apple’s website about Apple IDs and the company’s answer is simply “At this time, Apple IDs cannot be consolidated.” This could mean that at some point in the future, this may change. However, at the moment, folks with multiple IDs cannot sync all the purchases that they’ve made from multiple accounts through iTunes via iCloud. When they try to turn on Automatic Downloads for two or more accounts, they are presented with a pop-up warning that they must wait 90 days to download old purchases with a secondary iTunes account.
Apple iOS 5 along with iCloud are set to launch sometime this fall. Seeing how strictly Apple manages its music and app licensing in the past, it seems unlikely that Apple will change its policy on Apple IDs regardless of the the cuddly feelings that the iCloud is supposed to bring by allowing you to re-download songs you’ve purchased in the past.