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Apple loses email, promises better MobileMe updates

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Sat July 26, 2008

MobileMe: daily reports

Apple has (finally) acknowledged losing some email data and claims that it will do a better job keeping its customers as to the status of the continuing MobileMe issues. A new status update posted to Apple's website indicates that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has asked an unnamed employee to "write a posting every other day or so to let everyone know what's happening with MobileMe." The writer, who claims that he is working directly with the MobileMe group, confirms that that a "serious problem" with one its mail servers, but did not post the nature of the problem. Confirming our earlier report, the company said that it was able to restore limited web access to those accounts to allow web-based access to read email that has arrived since last Friday (though not before) as well as send and receive new mail, but that some customers lost data.

"We particularly regret to report the loss in the affected accounts of approximately 10% of the messages received between July 16 and July 18," the Apple wrote without saying what, if anything, the company would do to compensate affected customers.

The new status page comes after the company formally apologized for the launch problems, but problems with the service continued into the second week.

Almost a full week after the email outage began, Apple says it has finally begun rolling out restoration of full access for all the MobileMe accounts, but that it could take another week or so before full access is restored. Several high-profile reviews have continued to question the service's reliability and Apple's ability to implement such a service.

However, the company did acknowledge over 70 bugs were fixed with IMAP, calendar, and sync services and that additional capacity was being added to handle the traffic.

"The day we launched MobileMe, we had a lot more traffic to our servers than we anticipated, with the result that access to the web versions of the MobileMe applications -- Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Gallery, iDisk -- was temporarily unavailable," the note explained. "We've since added server capacity and tuned our software to scale better -- i.e. behave more gracefully when traffic spikes."

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    we're sorry

    We had problems starting up the new service we over-hyped. But thanks for your money, have $8.33 back for all the trouble you've had. Now move along, nugget.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How freakin' hard is it to take the the data off the backup of that server, dump it on a completely new server (or just add it to one of their other mail servers) and get those people up and running, rather than leave them in the dark for so long.

  1. fletcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not Trivial

    Mail is live data. You can't simply restore a backup because new mail has been received since the backup was made. Ideally they would merge the data from the backup with the new mail in each account, but doing this could take time. Also, as some have pointed out, there's a potential that some customers have synched with their invalid IMAP account already so the restoration of messages would need to be done in such a way that they could restore the message on the next synch.

    I don't trust anyone to store my email for me. I use POP rather than IMAP for all my important mail so I have it on my machine rather than up on a server somewhere.

  1. Treuf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    pop vs imap

    Or you could use imap with local cached copy ...

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better late...

    Well they're finally admitting to the problems with MobileMe, and it's been only what 20 days?

    Though I find Apple's dealing with the whole matter from day one inexcusable, I'm happy to see they're finally taking their customers seriously, and are trying to keep us posted. What I don't understand is why some anonymous guy is doing the posting, which makes it very impersonal. Furthermore, I still think it would be a lot better if Jobs himself would have posted a short statement, or at least someone from the management. I guess they're all hiding...

  1. jscotta

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Better late…

    Nemco, the actually admitted to problems many days ago and made the offer for an extra 30 days then. So they actually reacted very quickly, in my opinion. Now…I would prefer to see a little more than the 30 day extension offer, but that is my opinion, too.

    As to your problem with them using a posting to a million people or so, I can't imagine Steve flying to everyone's home to offer his personal apology. Heck, I can't even imagine a personal e-mail from him to everyone. It appears you don't accept the blanket apology so I'm not sure how you would be made happy.

  1. RaceTripper

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stillborn and brain dead

    I've given up on M-Me. I have it forwarding any email I get to my Gmail account. I love having the 20 GB of space, but for now I'm just using it to host some photo galleries generated from Adobe Lightroom. Calendars are useless since it has abysmal support (i.e.none) for subscribed calendars

  1. howiethemacguy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Typical of .Mac/Mobile Me

    This is exactly why I stopped using the email address with my account. I got tired of the outages. The outages started with the transition from free to paid service back in early 2002. I think the feature set for Mobile Me is awesome but, Apple really needs to get their act together and make this thing work. They shouldn't have launched the service until it was ready to go. This is absolutely pathetic.

  1. tonewheel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good Grief, MACNN....

    It's called PROOFREADING for G-d's sake. How do you let an article such as this get posted with all of the typos and grammatical errors intact?

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Let me clarify some things...

    I am very much aware that Apple did initially admit to there being problems with the service. They did so however, after a full week of complaints from users, and a full week of flawed service. Maybe I'm expecting to much of them, but staying silent for a week, not reacting to your customers is not the way you should operate.

    After admitting that the start was a bit rocky, Apple offered it's existing customers and it's customers under trial, 30 days of free service. Personally I was happy to see this, not because I care about the 30 days free service, but because it shows that they were trying to make up with their customers. They did the only thing a company can do in the situation they were in, compensate their customers.

    That would have been fine, however the problems persist until today, and as many journalists and customers have noted, Apple has been very reluctant to comment on anything. I do not think it is fair of Apple to downplay the problem by maintaining that a mere 1% of customers is having problems. That is because even if only 1% (or 20.000) customers were having problems with their e-mail, many more are still having problems getting the service to operate properly.

    For the last few days, apparently I have been part of that one percent, with dropouts in e-mail, horrendously slow e-mail otherwise, non operating push, and subscription problems. Yet until Apple made a status page, the MobileMe site insisted that everything was fine.

    Let me tell you a secret... Though it would have been a nice gesture, I don't even expect Jobs to personally write an e-mail to customers, since that's obviously never going to happen.

    I do expect a company to care about it's customers however, and Apple is not giving off that feeling to anyone right now. Though it's nice that they are finally admitting to some of the other problems, and putting up a statuspage, the move comes to late for many. The page is written in a cold, impersonal fashion, and continues to state that only 1% of customers is affected. It also appears that the page can only be found on the American website, and is not found on Apple’s MobileMe pages for other countries.

    My problem lies not just with MobileMe, but is compounded by the server problems of iTunes during the introduction of the iPhone, and problems with the AppStore and iPhone activation. Clearly Apple has tried to do too many things at the same time. Any website or company that cares would have commented on the problems sooner, or made a clear statement on the homepage of their website. Yet Apple had to receive an enormous amount of complaints before they stopped pretending that nothing was wrong, and sent out the first e-mail. An e-mail which many of their customers, including myself never received. Problem after problem occurs, and not so much as a single person from Apple’s management has publicly commented.

    Don’t get me wrong... I’m not as unhappy and dissatisfied as my words might make you think, but Apple is dealing very unprofessionally with the whole matter. If anything, I am disappointed in Apple. Oh, and you are wrong about two things; I do accept apologies, but just proper ones, and I could very easily be made happy by problems just being fixed. I don’t need 30 days of free service. I don’t need 50% of my subscription fee back. I just need someone who matters at Apple to say “sorry, we screwed up” and then get back to fixing the problem.

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