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While the front pages of both the App Store and Mac App Store are accessible, we’ve hit broken pages on the US and UK App Stores when accessing individual apps. Meanwhile, though music, film and TV content is still visible in the iTunes Stores, you can’t actually buy it.
The problems seem to be geographically inconsistent – it appears to be possible to download apps from the Indian App Store but music tracks aren’t accessible there.
As you might expect, iBooks is down too and in-app purchases are broken. There also seem to be issues with TestFlight, the company’s service which allows developers to give beta testers access to their apps. It’s currently inaccessible for some iOS users.
We’ve contacted Apple for details on the situation and will update this post when we have more. The company’s status page shows all its services working correctly but that clearly isn’t the case.
Update: Thanks for your reports. We’ve had confirmation of problems in Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, Cyprus, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, France, Finland, India, Italy, Indonesia, the Philippines, Romania, Ukraine, the Caribbean, Portugal, Russia, Egypt, Slovakia, Singapore, Vietnam, Israel, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Greece, Mexico, New Zealand, Kenya, Thailand, the UK and US. So it’s safe to say this is a worldwide issue.
Update 2: We’re also seeing some reports that logins through the Apple Developer site aren’t working now either.
Update 3: Karl Hooker in the comments says:
Just spoken to Apple customer services UK and the agent was unaware of the issue until I told her to pick up her own phone and attempt to download an app. She said “Oh, yes I seem to be having the same error” and put me on hold. She then came back and said “We are aware of an outage but I don’t know how long it’s going to take, please try again in about an hour”…
Update 4: Here’s the latest error we’ve got, we’re now being told that the App Store itself isn’t available in the UK store. Confusing!
Update 5: And now if you were thinking of going to Apple Support for guidance…that’s down too. That also means you can’t make Genius Bar appointments.
— I, YermoungDer (@yermoungder) March 11, 2015
Note: we’ve yet to confirm this.
Update 7: We’re continuing to try to contact Apple but at this point we’ve received no reply to our emails and no one’s picking up the phone.
We’re hearing from developers that Apple has told them to expect the problem to be fixed in the next two hours but that it’s a very uncertain estimate. We’re still waiting for an official comment.
Update 9: Some readers in Australia are reporting that iTunes is working normally again for them now but as the issues have been sporadic, we’re not holding our breath just yet.
Update 10: Like we said before, the problems do seem to be sporadic – developers and users in Australia still reporting problems despite others saying they’re back up and running.
Update 11 – 9.41 ET/13.41 GMT: We’re still receiving reports from across the world that iTunes downloads are not working on the desktop or iOS devices and that Apple TV is also affected.
Update 12 – 09.53 ET/13.53 GMT:
First official word from Apple, not ETA on a fix yet.
Update 13 – 10.03 ET/14.03 GMT: Correction – that tweet was not from an official account. We’re still waiting on official word from Apple.
Update 14 – 10.06 ET/14.07 GMT: Apple’s finally updated its status page to show iTunes is unavailable for all users.
Update 15 – 10.16 ET/14.17 GMT: The App Store might be five hours into suffering problems but the AppStore account on Twitter is still tweeting merrily.
— App Store (@AppStore) March 11, 2015
Update 16 – 10.25 ET/14.25 GMT: We’ve got another report via Twitter of an Apple Store that’s had to turn to pen and paper:
@brokenbottleboy The Apple Store in Ridge Hill, NY is expecting issues with both the Wi-fi and their systems and are using Paper and Pen to.
— TwiceTheSn0w (@AahdsT) March 11, 2015
See Update 6 for the previous instance. As before, we can’t verify this but if retail stores are unable to use their sales apps, it could speak to an even larger issue with Apple’s systems.
Update 17 – 10.33 ET/14.33 GMT: Apple’s now updated its status page again showing the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store and iBooks Store as unavailable with red symbols.
Apple’s timeline of the outages shows the problem with its stores still ongoing and that there were iCloud problems between 9am GMT (5am ET) and 12.30pm GMT (08.30 ET):
Update 18 – 10.54 ET / 14.45 GMT: Good news! The Apple support page is now working again which means you can at least ask for assistance/send over your queries and complaints.
Update 19 – 11.35 ET/ 15.35 GMT: Apple’s developer status page now shows the issues with iTunes Connect and Testflight we’ve been reporting on all day. It also confirms that those problems began at 8am GMT (4am ET) – an hour before the other issues.
Update 20 – 11.49 ET / 15.49 GMT: It looks like there were desperate times at Birmingham, UK Apple Store earlier today with staff reduced to using old school credit card machines, according to this photo sent to us by Nathan Ziabek:
@brokenbottleboy this morning at about 1100. How many Genius's does it take to work a card machine. Loving the irony here!
— Nathan Ziabek (@NathanJozef) March 11, 2015
Update 21 – 12.32 ET / 16.32 GMT:
We’re seeing more reports of people being able to download apps, which suggests Apple could have started rolling out a fix. Fingers crossed. We’re still getting that now familiar “the iTunes Store is temporarily unavailable” error message.
Update 22 – 13.14 ET / 17.14 GMT:
iTunes, the App Store and Mac App Store have now been broken for over 8 hours and iTunes Connect has been inaccessible for 10 hours, which must be some kind of dubious record.
Update 23 – 13.20 ET / 17.21 GMT:
Apple has given a statement to CNBC explaining the reason for today’s outage:
“We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning. The cause was an internal DNS error at Apple. We’re working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible, and we thank everyone for their patience.”
Thanks to Roman Khafizianov (@requilence) for the original tip off.
Update 24 – 16.49 ET / 20.49 GMT:
Our international App Store nightmare appears to finally be over. Downloads are working in the UK and users are reporting it’s back up elsewhere around the world.
Apple has also updated the status of its services on its support site, to make things extra official:
We weathered the storm together, and survived. Thanks for sticking with us.