Today I had to help yet another confused/frustrated person deal with the fact that they, unaware to themselves, possessed multiple Apple IDs.
I personally have four Apple IDs that I have to juggle. Apple’s iTools/.Mac spawned one (which I’m now stuck with because of the iTunes Store purchases being tied to it… iTunes and iTools at one point were compatible products), my personal email being used as the original Apple ID for machine registrations, and having to have a different Apple ID for iOS Developer Tools (due to NDAs). Oh, and the fourth is my iCloud Apple ID, since I refused to pay for MobileMe/.Mac, so I had to sign back up again under a new account when it became free again.
Now, for me, you should know by now that is not a big deal. I have no problem juggling them.
But if you are an Apple customer over the years, odds are you fell into one or two of those mass-migrations that prompted Apple to downright encourage you to have dual Apple IDs. Though Apple always says that they discourage the practice, a loyal Apple customer could not escape the necessity to do so.
I realize it is difficult for Apple to offer a migration assistant, or some form of process to consolidate Apple IDs. Apple has to deal with the movie studios, and they don’t want people transferring/selling/inheriting purchases from one individual to another. Google, on the other hand, did manage to avoid these problems. They implemented several behind-the-scenes initiatives to ensure that Google Apps and personal Google Account data were properly handled as those products evolved.
Bottom line, I’m sure Apple knows this is a problem. I’m not sure they know how big of a problem it is. Genius bars are full to the point people are seeing going to the Apple Store as a hassle… it’s now like wading through an Occupy protest where someone decides to start throwing money. The stores need an overhaul to handle the traffic, but that’s for another day. Apple IDs should be something starts to tackle today. It’s not for me, it’s for all the folks that don’t understand that they now do indeed have multiple Apple IDs.