What is the purpose of Apple creating a new email address @icloud.com?
I think it is because the .me.com was kind of strange looking and the icloud.com is more conventional. I use the icloud.
It's to reflect the branding of the service, just like the other free (and indeed many paid) email services. It's optional if you have an @me.com address - you can go on using it just as before.
I was quite happy with my @mac.com address. Others were confused by my @me.com address when asked for my email address. I now use the @icloud.com address as people associate it with Apple. I still receive mail to all three addresses.
The service is called "iCloud" so it makes sense to offer @icloud.com email addresses. You don't have to use it if you prefer your existing address.
thx to all who responded.
Retrieving data ...