Free MobileMe in iOS 4.2?
Hints of a free MobileMe service can be seen in a new framework in the iOS 4.2 gold master. Error messages
show when a user has reached "the maximum number of free accounts" for a given device and when a device is not “qualified for free MobileMe service." There's also a message saying that an Apple ID can't be used for MobileMe Mail but can be used for other services.
When the iOS 4.2 GM originally dropped last month, many people noted that it allowed users to sign in to their MobileMe accounts using their Apple IDs. This led to renewed speculation that Apple might offer a free MobileMe service
for iDevice users through their Apple IDs. A closer look at a new private framework gives evidence that free Apple accounts will be available at least for some users. The AppleAccounts.framework file is not present in iOS 4.1, and contains error message text strings about free MobileMe accounts that will apparently have device limits. For example, one error message is displayed when "the maximum number of free accounts has been activated" on a particular device, suggesting that iOS devices will be able to have multiple MobileMe logins.
Another error message warns that a particular Apple ID "cannot be used for MobileMe Mail, but you can use it for other MobileMe services." Other than @me.com mail, MobileMe offers services like Find My iPhone, iDisk, Photo Galleries, and syncing of Safari bookmarks and Calendar entries.