ICANN has finally agreed to go ahead with generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) at the ICANN 41 meeting in Singapore. They would be introduced by 2013. The purpose of gTLD is for anyone with enough resources to select their own characters at the end of a URL. For example, we could see domains such as .coke, .apple, or even .hardwarezone.
But creating a gTLD isn't going to be cheap or simple, as opposed to just registering with any one of the currently available 22 TLDs. As reported by Geek.com:
A gTLD requires the owner to setup and look after the domain meaning serious investment in hardware and infrastructure to support it. Therefore gTLDs will be limited to those with the resources to implement such a system and the funds to keep it operating. With that in mind, you can understand why each gTLD also has to receive approval from ICANN after they have checked to see if you are capable of running it.
The first submission period has been set by ICANN from January 12 to April 12 of 2012.