Apple services restored after massive outage

Thousands of users were unable to access iMessage, Apple Music, the App Store, and other services

Apple says its services are restored after a widespread outage on Monday [21.03.22] which affected thousands of users who reported being unable to access functions such as the App Store, TV services, the company’s music, or maps app.

The Down Detector, a platform that monitors website outages, reported that thousands of Apple’s users complained of having troubles for almost 6 hours. Users were first reported that they couldn’t access Apple Music and they also mentioned problems with iCloud.

The massive outage also affected services including iMessage, Apple Maps, iCloud Mail, iCloud Keychain, the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, and Podcasts. There were reports on Twitter that Apple’s corporate and retail systems were also down as well and according to a viral tweet, some Apple Store employees had to do their work on paper. Mark Gurman, a Bloomberg journalist, confirmed that Apple’s corporate and retail internal systems were down. “In addition to Apple’s online services – Music, Maps, Podcasts, and more facing outages — I’m told Apple’s corporate, and retail internal systems are down too, limiting remote work and retail operations like product pick-ups and repairs” he posted on Twitter.

11 services were down

Apple confirmed the widespread outage about half an hour after users began reporting problems on social media. The tech giant firm said that 11 of its services were affected and posted a status update including these services: App store, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, iTunes, Podcasts, Radio, Apple Business Manager, Apple School Manager, Device Enrollment Program, and Schoolwork.

However, the company didn’t comment on what caused the problem, although digital experts and analysts believed this was a global issue with users complaining from various countries, including the US and UK. Apple had also responded to some users on Twitter who were mentioning problems, but the company didn’t respond to those wondering what the cause of the problem was and whether it was related to a cyberattack or any other internal technical problem.

Apple’s services were restored to normal gradually with iCloud Calendar, iCloud Contacts, iCloud Mail, and iCloud Private Relay to be among the last to be resolved.

Although the company didn’t clarify officially the reasons behind this massive outage, there were reports that Apple informed its staff that the outage was related to DNS problems. The Domain Name System failures are often caused by human errors and are occurred when a server fails to connect to an internet protocol address. Apple is one of the largest technology companies that are constantly expanding, while in the US alone the number of iPhone users increased to 113.5 million in 2020, and it is forecast that this figure will continue to rise and reach more than 118 million in 2022.

Outages of this scale are not that common for Apple, which wasn’t the only tech firm suffering problems on Monday. In fact, according to Down Detector, users have also mentioned problems with Inc.’s web services, along with Google around the same time with Apple’s outage.

George Mavridis is a freelance journalist and writer based in Greece. His work primarily covers tech, innovation, social media, digital communication, and politics. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication. Also, he holds an MA in Media and Communication Studies from the Malmö University of Sweden and an MA in Digital Humanities from the Linnaeus University of Sweden.