updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu November 4, 2010
Other stores unaffected
At least several of Apple's European online stores are offline, investigation shows. The UK, French, German, Spanish and Swedish stores are all down as of about noon Eastern time, with no indication of when they might return other than "soon." Countries in other continents, such as Canada and the United States, are notably unaffected.
Why Apple would only take down European storefronts is unknown, but the company could simply be preparing the websites to host holiday promotions. It may also be preparing to adjust prices, as it recently did with the Mac mini. Many Apple products are disproportionately expensive in Europe, despite declines in the US dollar.