iOS 6 beta 3 has been seeded to developers, and a note accompanying the release has set some people in a panic. The note indicates that e-mail addresses ending in icloud.com are now available for iCloud users.
“Users signing up for new Apple IDs, or enabling Mail on their iCloud account for the first time, will automatically receive an @icloud.com email address instead of a me.com email address. iCloud users with @me.com addresses that have been used with iOS 6 beta 3 will receive an @icloud.com email address that matches their @me.com address.”
I’ve seen some Twitter posts that seem to assume Apple is discontinuing me.com and mac.com e-mail addresses. Some careless blogging hasn’t helped perceptions.
There’s no evidence or indication from Apple to suggest that the old addresses are going away, just that new iCloud users will get the new addresses.
You haven’t been able to get a mac.com e-mail address since 2008, but they’re still going strong, and Apple has given no indication that they’ll stop working any time soon.
This is an overlay. Your old addresses will still work. People who sign up for new accounts will get icloud.com addresses by default, but that doesn’t mean your old address will suddenly stop working.