updated 12:37 am EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Customers of iTunes Music, App Store, Mac App Store and iBookstore affected
Apple's non-Apple Store commerce sites suffered some major downtime on Tuesday, with the App Store, iBookstore, Mac App Store and iTunes Music Store being inaccessible for nearly five and a half hours for some (but not all) users, from approximately 6:30PM to midnight Eastern time. During the outage, users were in some cases able to load the product pages of the sites, but unable to do anything else, while some others reported normal operations.
A MacNN staffer in the Pacific Northwest was able to access the stores continuously during the reported outage period, and was able to purchase and upgrade Mac and iOS apps during the period. The outage appears to have not been universal, and may have been limited to just select distribution servers, reports AppleInsider.
Apple reported the problem resolved as of 9PM Pacific time (midnight Eastern), saying only that users "may" have been unable to access some stores, according to the company's system status webpage. The outage also hobbled some customers' ability to re-download previously-purchased apps and media. The prolonged downtime is very unusual for Apple's online stores, and likely cost the company millions in lost or delayed purchases.