A number of users encountered annoyances or issues with Apple’s launch of iCloud yesterday, as many people have gained multiple Apple IDs over the years due to changing their email address or creating a separate Apple ID for MobileMe aside from the account tied to their iTunes Store purchases. The matter can also cause headaches relating to automatic downloads, as you can only use one Apple ID at a time with your iOS device.
One customer emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook to voice frustration over this and ask whether Apple had come any closer to allowing this, and received an official response pointing him to an Apple support article that indicates that merging Apple IDs is just not an option.
It’s unclear why Apple does not allow the merging of Apple IDs, and the situation may be for technical reasons relating to the way they original set up the Apple ID system. Apple’s recommended solution, of course, is to use the same Apple ID for both purchases and iCloud. From the support document:
Can I merge multiple Apple IDs into one?
You cannot merge two or more Apple IDs into a single one. You can, however, use one Apple ID for iCloud services and another Apple ID for store purchases (including iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match). See “Using one Apple ID for iCloud and a different Apple ID for Store Purchases” above for details.
The document does outline the possibility to use one Apple ID for store purchases and another for iCloud, but that’s as far as it goes.