According to this tweet below, it looks like Apple is using the Apple.News domain name in its Apple News app, now available for iPhone users who are using iOS 9. As you can see, if a user shares a news article on social media via the Apple News app, the url that is shown is an Apple.News url. The .News gTLD extension is operated by Rightside.
friend shared a NYT story to Facebook via apple news. Apple News crafted new URL with new label in FB. pic.twitter.com/VcGmNCASfP
— à² _à² (@MikeIsaac) September 20, 2015
I think it is a smart move from Apple to use Apple.News in this manner. It makes it very clear that the news article that was shared was done so via the new app. This enables Apple to help build its brand as others will see their social networking contacts using the app and might give it a try. This also enables publishers to see that people are accessing their content via links from the Apple News app.
Apple could have used Apple.com urls for the app, but I think having Apple.News links separate from their main domain name is a smart move since the links are totally unrelated to Apple (unless the news article happens to be about Apple).
When I directly navigated to Apple.news, the url did not resolve for me. When I visited Google and did a search for Apple.News, I was able to see a result for https://Apple.News indexed just below the Google News results. If you click on that link, you are taken to Apple.com/News. I suppose they are using Apple.News for the links within the app but not for a standalone website at this time.
I have not used the Apple News app, so I cannot independently confirm what was mentioned in the tweet above, but you are welcome to share what you noticed.
Thank you to Nick Nelson for sharing this.