Apple appears to have registered the ‘AppleCoronavirus.com’ domain name, according to a WHOIS record.
MacRumors spotted the record, which indicates Apple took control of the domain on April 10th. WHOIS is a protocol used to query databases about registered domains. In the case of the AppleCoronavirus.com domain, the WHOIS query returned information about the registrant organization, registrar and more.
The record lists Apple as the registrant organization, and CSC Corporate Domains appears as the registrar. CSC is a firm that protects domain names for large corporations. MacRumors reports that Apple uses CSC for its domain name registrations.
The new domain doesn’t currently point to an existing website. However, the timing of the registration comes after Apple and Google announced a partnership to develop a contact tracing solution to help combat COVID-19.
The solution is complex, but at a base level, it leverages Bluetooth to detect when people come into contact with each other. Then if someone you’ve come into contact with tests positive for COVID-19, the system can warn you and provide information about next steps.
You can learn more about Apple and Google’s contact tracing system here.
While it’s not clear what the domain will be used for, my guess is that it could be connected to the contact tracing system. For example, Apple could host information about the contact tracing system there. Alternatively, Apple could be trying to protect itself against people making unofficial websites about Apple and COVID-19 using the domain name. It remains to be seen if and how Apple uses the domain.