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ICANN'T believe it's not Apple: Vatican wins domain-handout lottery

Cupertino must wait a year as GTLD application order announced

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The Catholic Church will be the first institution to register a new top level domain name, internet addressing overlord ICANN announced yesterday.

The Vatican's application will be top of the pile when ICANN starts to process applications for new top level domain names in early 2013.

The Catholic Church wants to register .天主教 - Catholic in Chinese.

.PLAY, .DOG and .MORMON should be up for consideration in February/March. Amazon want to register .PLAY, .DOG and .MORMON are being scooped by domain collectors.

.PARTY will also be considered in the first few months of next year, and will go to Oriental Trading Company if the application is successful.

Apple will have to wait till around the beginning of 2014 for .APPLE as its application is 948th on the list.

The new batch of names will add hundreds of top level domain names to the existing 22 that are used on the internet, such as the familiar .COM and .NET and the 280 country-specific domains such as .CO.UK

There have been 1,930 applications for top level domain names, and the order in which they'll be processed was decided by a raffle. ICANN has said it will process around 80 applications a month and start the process early next year, which means new gTLDs will be introduced gradually all the way to 2015.

Not every application considered will end up becoming a registered domain because several are contested. Thirteen separate companies have applied to register .APP for example. Others have been objected to - the Saudi royal family have filed complaints against .VIRGIN and .SEX for example.

The bulk of the first 100 new top level domains to be considered are in non-English characters - Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic.

There has been a strong pent-up demand for URLs in different languages, as current generic top level domains all use the Roman alphabet, meaning irritating keyboard-switching for people typing in languages which use a different alphabet. ®

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