[updated with Apple revisionism on outage time]
An outage of services has affected some users, making Apple's main iTunes-oriented stores (the iTunes store, the iOS and Mac App Stores, the iBookstore, and even the corporate Volume Purchasing Program) unavailable for the past two hours or so. According to Apple's own system status page
, some percentage of users have been unable to make purchases since approximately 4:20 PM Eastern, and the outage is ongoing.
Testing by MacNN
staffers shows that none of our scattered North American staffers are experiencing the problem, suggesting that the issue is fairly isolated. None of the other Apple web services are affected by the downtime. The last iTunes store service outage was less than a month ago
About the time this story went to press, the outage was resolved -- however, Apple later altered the timeline on its system update page to suggest the problem only lasted an hour. At the time the story was written, the timeline showed the issued had been ongoing for two hours. The correction may have been due to the small number of users affected, and more accurate reporting of the downtime after the problem was corrected.
German carriers planning for September 18 iPhone launch
Apple has traditionally held off about 10 days between the announcement of a new iPhone and the date customers could walk into a retailer and buy one, and though there is no confirmed announce date for the next iPhone at present, speculation points to sometime in the second week of September as the most probable time. At least two of the three major German carriers have revealed that they are planning to have new iPhones on September 18
, 10 days after the possible debut.
It's unclear if the carriers -- O2, T-Mobile DE, and Vodafone -- have insider information yet, or are just reacting to a widely-publicized guess that the event will be held on September 9. At that event, which has yet to be confirmed, Apple is expected to launch at least two new iPhones, refreshed iPad models, two new OS updates, and possibly more. Germany is one of the first-tier nations that will get the iPhone at the same time as the US.