Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

Summary: After all the problems with its MobileMe service since its admitted "rocky" start Apple has posted a status page at the behest of Steve Jobs that keeps affected users abreast of what's happening with the service.

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TOPICS: Collaboration, Apple
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AppleÂ’s MobileMe mea culpaAfter all the problems with its MobileMe service since its admitted "rocky" start Apple has posted a status page at the behest of Steve Jobs that keeps affected users abreast of what's happening with the service.

Apple's first update was posted on Friday stating, in part, that an email outage affected 1% of subscribers and that it was able "to restore limited web access to those accounts so the affected members can use their browsers to read mail that has arrived since last Friday (though not before) as well as send and receive new mail."

The blog-style page also admitted that Apple has lost some subscribers mail permanently:

We particularly regret to report the loss in the affected accounts of approximately 10% of the messages received between July 16 and July 18.

An update posted to the page late Sunday provides more information to the afflicted 1%:

We turned on web access to their current email yesterday and the feedback has been cautiously positive. Since then, we've restored full email history (minus the approximately 10% of mail received between July 18 and July 22 which may have been lost) and the ability to access email from a Mac, PC and iPhone, to over 40% of these users, and expect the remainder to be restored in the next few days.

Some MobileMe email was also re-dated during the fiasco, but Apple finds a way to turn that into a positive, touting long headers as a "feature" of the service.

A note of clarification to these 1% of MobileMe users – all of the email you received between July 18 and July 22 was placed on our new server on July 23 and was stamped with that date as a result. If you need the actual date for particular messages you can take advantage of the ability to view long headers in MobileMe Mail (via Preferences) to peer into the log and find the actual mailing time and date.

It's funny how Apple keeps referring to the "1%" figure because it sounds so low. Apple has an estimate 2 million MobileMe subscribers so the number of affected subscribers is around 20,000 users. MobileMe is working fine for me, but I don't use it as my primary email account. About 25% of the people polled at our PPUG meeting this weekend were still having problems with their MobileMe accounts.

It's refreshing to see that Apple is making an effort to communicate better with customers, I just hope they get it resolved soon.

Topics: Collaboration, Apple

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12 comments
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  • I wonder what OS MobileMe is hosted on?

    [i]We particularly regret to report the loss in the affected accounts of approximately 10% of the messages received between July 16 and July 18.[/i]

    That's really not that bad though. If you think about it like an Apple fan, you have to admit that OS X is able to deliver 90% of all mail messages that come through. How many other OSs can boast a 90% success rate when it comes to delivering mail? :)
    NonZealot
    • Well, in this case Windows.

      As MobileMe is for Windows as well. But hey, I use OS X and
      get 100% of my mail. I just don't use MM. I'll look at it when
      (and if) all the problems are sorted. It seems like it will be
      quite a decent product when up and running, which I believe
      it is for about 99% of customers.

      Nice jibe though.
      A Grain of Salt
      • Apple uses Windows Server to host MobileMe?!

        Wow. I guess they figured OS X server wouldn't even be able to deliver 90% of the email! If Apple won't even use OS X for their services, why should I?
        NonZealot
        • Facts Rather Than Denigration

          Readers can find factual information on MobileMe for Windows here:

          http://www.apple.com/mobileme/news/2008/09/itunes-8-and-the-mobileme-control-panel-for-windows.html

          and here:

          http://www.softpedia.com/get/IPOD-TOOLS/Other-IPOD-tools-Updates/MobileMe-Control-Panel.shtml
          Cardhu
  • RE: Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

    This time at least the update has a name (of sorts) attached.
    But who is he? However, I would prefer this status page to
    show a dashboard, with visual indicators of
    uptime/downtime and at least some decent contact
    information. In my opinion they could be trying a little
    harder, considering the poor press the product launch has
    had.
    hughesdj
  • RE: Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

    90% is not a good success rate when it comes to delivering mail. I love OS X and Apple in general but I can't justify spending $99 a year for a service that just doesn't seem all that reliable. Downtime was also an issue when I was a .mac subscriber a few years ago. I really wish they'd offer a tier subscription approach to mobile me. A free account with limited web space and no push service might get the ball rolling.
    Pvanderpool
    • Oh, this is a paid service?

      yikes...
      tikigawd
  • RE: Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

    The Apple faithful will be able to justify this as well. Perhaps blame it on the existence of Windows or Perhaps praise Apple's wonderful gesture of letting you know that it lost some of your mail umm.. permanently. And cmon you'll get more mail, but hey, the icons are shinier than ever. Ooh look at the new iphone by steve ....:) distraction complete.
    micks_tricks
  • How do you lose mail pernanently?

    These days, I can't see how Apple managed to lose data. It must have been stored, so the backups should have got it.

    I'm afraid Apple is really starting to look like an amateur.

    But hey I'm so glad they told their customers about it - I mean that's a major step forward isn't it ;-(
    tonymcs@...
    • Sorry, but

      they didn't lose that data after all. their
      current status notes that all the affected
      email is back.

      When servers crash, which they ALL do,
      no matter the OS, data can be lost. I
      guess they followed their own advice
      and had a backup, huh?
      rwahrens1952
  • RE: Apple's MobileMe mea culpa

    Mobile Me is not that straight forward and I've had several issues with syncing Calendars and Contact lists. To the unaware the syncing process can result in you losing data as the Cloud overwrites data on your Mac and iPhone. Some times it does this without warning !!! Don't really trust it yet.
    Not falling over myself to sign up for the whole deal, just let the free trial run its course. Likely to cancel if these issues persist.
    bruce.robbie@...
    • It Appears That Mobile Me

      was rushed for release well before it was ready. As a result, Apple is now in a "fix it" mode.

      This is a misstep by Apple. Apple customers should complain loud and clear that this kind of corporate behavior undermines their confidence in Apple products as customers.
      Cardhu