Home & Office

Apple: iTunes Store, App Store outage caused by 'internal' error

Apple suffered a widespread outage to its app and music download services, costing the company $2 million per hour.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
(Image: Apple)

Apple's half-day outages have come to an end.

Millions of users around the world were unable to download or update apps, or buy music from the company's Mac and iOS App Stores, and iTunes Store.

The company's status page had spotty "red" warnings across a range of services for almost half a day.

"Customers may be unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store," it read.

Apple, in a statement more than five hours into the crash, denied any foul play from a third-party, blaming an "internal DNS error."

Dozens of countries and regions were affected across North America, Europe, and Asia.

The internal server crash began before 5am (ET), affecting users of all Apple's platforms, including iPhone and iPad, and Macs. In most cases, pages were displaying errors or "temporarily unavailable" notices, while some apps and purchases would not go through at all.

The crash reportedly also affected Apple retail stores, which led staff to break out older and more outdated methods of taking payments.

The last instance in which Apple suffered extensive downtime was when a flaw was discovered in its developer portal. The site was shut down for weeks after an "intruder" attempted to take personal information. Many of the site's services were down for extended periods.

There's no indication, however, that the company has suffered a data breach or an attack on its systems.

Apple's App Store and iTunes Store, where the company makes about 6 percent of its global revenue from (according to its fiscal first quarter earnings, generated $4.8 billion in the three months ending December.

Though it's not a perfect figure because that division also includes Apple Pay and sales of Beats accessories, Apple could have lost around $2.2 million for every hour its various stores were down. That said, the technology giant is more than making up for that dip in iPhone sale alone, based on figures from its fiscal first quarter earnings.

There will also be a financial cost to developers. Apple shelled out $10 billion to developers in 2014, roughly accounting for $1.1 million per hour, estimates suggest.

At market close, the technology company ($AAPL) was down more than 1.7 percent on the Nasdaq in New York.

Updated at 4pm ET: with statement from Apple and details on Apple's stock price.

Editorial standards