Somewhere between 2001 and 2005, I got an iPod, my first Apple device, which I used as an external hard disk to transfer my PhD research between work and home. I got an iTunes account (then just a name, no email address).
I switched from Windows to Mac in 2005 when Tiger was released by buying a Mac mini. The same iTunes account was used and I purchased some music and such.
Somewhere along the line I created an @me.com account and got an email box with it.
When an Apple ID became a thing I still used my iTunes account until Apple decided otherwise and I needed to have an email address as ID. I tried my @me.com address but that wasn’t allowed, so I used my primary (Gmail) address. I still used my iTunes account for all the purchases.
Until the day came that Apple wanted a full email address for the iTunes account and I still wasn’t allowed to use my @me.com address. I also couldn’t transfer the purchases over to my primary Apple ID, so I got stuck with a separate Apple ID + email for my purchases. And my @me.com address got an @icloud.com alias.
In 2013 I wanted to share my iCloud calendar with our secretary, who worked on Windows as one of the few. I couldn’t share a calendar with a non-Apple address, so I tried to set up an iCloud account for her. That couldn’t be done from a Windows machine, it had to be done from an Apple device. Long story short after fiddling for hours I managed to register the email address she wanted but she was never able to get it to work, so we gave up on the calendar sharing.
A few months ago I discovered why: the email address was added as an alias to my Apple ID.
Today I decided to finally look into the matter and wasn’t able to get rid of the alias. So I contacted Apple Support.
After some questions back and forth Javier explained that my friend’s email address was not an email alias but an iCloud login alias. I have no idea how I managed to get that done. He went on to explain that he was not able to remove that from my Apple ID. I could of course change the email address of the Apple ID. Nope, not what I want. That’s my primary email address I’m using for more than 25 years now. No way I’m going to change that.
When checking my email on my friend’s email address, I noticed I have 2 emails in the inbox from the moment I created the email address and one from the moment I turned on 2FA in 2017. But none of the emails I have in my @me.com mailbox.
So I asked Javier to merge the @me.com account and my Apple ID. I’m all for simplifying. But no, that too wasn’t possible. I wondered if I ended up with yet another Apple ID so I logged into icloud.com with my @me address. There were the expected emails. AND 4 calendar invites I’ve never seen before!
I clicked on the account settings and guess what, I ended up in the management page of my Apple ID.
So why can’t they merge mailboxes?
Finally, I asked Javier if there is a way to save the whole conversation and he pointed me to privacy.apple.com.
I explained I just wanted the conversation information, not the information from my account, but no response. 🙁