Apple service outages are at an unacceptable level

The number of Apple service outages lately seems to have risen to the point where they’ve become almost routine.

This isn’t great for any tech giant, but when the ecosystem is such a huge part of the appeal of Apple products, it becomes a far bigger deal…

Apple outages this year

Let’s look just at Apple service outages and issues in the four-and-a-bit months of the year to date – and these are just the examples found by a quick search of our own site, which only reports the more widespread problems:

Or, uh, today

Or just take a snapshot on DownDetector for the past 24 hours:

Apple also doesn’t like admitting problems

This is made worse by Apple’s reluctance to admit that it is experiencing problems.

I can’t count the number of times I see tweets about Apple service outages, confirm them on DownDetector, and then check Apple’s system status page to see nothing but green lights.

This isn’t just misleading, it actively causes hassles for Apple’s customer, because if we’re experiencing a problem, and Apple says everything is ok on its end, we’re likely to end up wasting time – and getting frustrating – trying to troubleshoot a non-existent problem on our end.

Apple's reality-distortion field |  All green status indicators
Apple’s reality-distortion field

I don’t expect 100% uptime, but I expect better than this

Now, I get it. There’s no such thing as 100% reliable tech, and these things will happen. I’m not expecting Apple services to have 100% uptime.

I also accept that some of these issues are First World Problems. Nobody is going to die if they have to close an unresponsive Weather app and go check a website instead.

But a massive part of Apple’s marketing pitch is the benefits of the ecosystem, and Services are an increasingly important part of Apple’s business. Services are the only part of Apple’s business that has enjoyed an unbroken growth record for the past five years, and brings in more revenue than each of Mac, iPad, and wearables.

So when they aren’t reliable, that’s no small matter. And, to me at least, Apple services seem to be falling a long way short of delivering the level of robustness and contingency planning than I’d expected.

Am I being unfair? Or do you agree that Apple services outages are more frequent than they should be? Please take our poll, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Image: Rishi/Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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