Last year saw a host of outages, whether it be Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and even news websites such as BBC and CNN. Apple is a name that seldom features in lists such as this, but now, it has the dubious honor of being the latest to suffer from a massive outage.
Monday afternoon saw a host of Apple services suffer from the outage and were down for users across the globe. This included Apple Music, the App Store, Apple TV, iMessage, iCloud, Maps, Fitness Plus, and other services – over a dozen in total. Users took to social media and Downdetector to complain about the issue.
However, this is no longer a problem. After 3:45 PM ET, Apple reassured users that the issue has been resolved. This means that they can once again access these features, which were slow or unavailable for some time.
While some users were affected as they were unable to use services such as Apple School Manager, Documents in the Cloud, and Maps Search, all users were affected when the iOS Device Activation service was down. Downdetector showed a big chunk of reported problems belonged to iPhone services (79%), followed by website (15%) and TV (6%). The number of cases reported surged at around 11 PM and reached a peak of 1292 at 10:40 PM yesterday.
What is the reason for this massive outage? According to Apple, the outage has its roots in issues in the domain name system (DNS), which one can describe as the phonebook of the internet. You can access information online through domain names. DNS failures occur when a server fails to connect to an internet protocol address and are often caused by human errors. Such issues also resulted in a major internet outage last July (affecting websites such as UPS, FedEx, and American Express).
The outage impacted Apple’s own staff as well. Apple employees had a difficult time working from home and retail workers were unable to complete several tasks. Product repairs, swaps, and item pickups were affected, and corporate workers were unable to fully communicate and access internal websites.