Blog Post

The multihour iMessage outage (today’s, that is) continues [Updated]

Apple’s(s AAPL) having yet another services problem and this time it’s affecting one of the core features of iOS devices: iMessage. Since about noon Pacific Time, both Apple’s messaging service and its video chat feature, FaceTime, have been experiencing problems, according to Apple’s Systems Status page.

iMessage outage

One thing that’s not clear is how many users are experiencing the problem — many times the status page will identify a percentage. Anecdotally, I know both me and some of my colleagues on the West Coast have had issues with iMessages sending as text messages and coming in out of order, and Twitter users from a variety of areas are complaining.

While some people may be moderately annoyed by a FaceTime outage, iMessage problems are another story. Messaging is one of the most popular and important features for mobile devices. Sure, text messages can be a backup, but people using iPad or an iPod touch without a data plan don’t have that option. And even for those with a cellular plan that comes with texting, some people are having those come in out of order (“it’s the worst,” a colleague informs me).

Any company can have a services or cloud outage — many do. But for Apple, a company with a history of problems with services and its cloud-based platform in general, today’s outage is yet another reminder of how much work it has to do.

Update: Apple’s systems status page shows that the issues with iMessage and FaceTime were resolved after just over five hours, at 5:20 p.m. PT.

7 Responses to “The multihour iMessage outage (today’s, that is) continues [Updated]”

  1. Cameron Fergus

    Looks like the iMessage service is back up (messages between apple devices). But I’m still not able to connect to Gtalk, or Yahoo! messenger using the Messages app in OSX. The system status page from Apple says that all the services are running… Anybody else experiencing this?

  2. When iMessage doesn’t work, it automatically rolls over to SMS. I don’t pay any monthly fee for iMessages, and still consider it a very nice perk of having an iOS device. At any time, I know I’m free to join the non-iOS world, and either use SMS all the time, or use some other messaging app, IM or e-mail. Face time is another nice free perk of having an apple device. I don’t use that often, but if it were important to always have visual coverage, I’d probably use skype or some other option. As it is, I revert to voice only when bandwidth constrained on face time.

    The short is, it’s a nice free perk with a backup plan. It saves me from paying the ridiculous monthly prices carriers charge.

  3. Wednesday 9:48 EST….imessage is not working for me – yet it is not cited on the apple system status page as a problem (when yesterday was corrected noted)

  4. You do realize that the order in which SMS arrives is in no way dependant on Apple, right? Blaming them for that is like blaming them for your google email arriving late….makes no sense at all.

    • Are you kidding me? iMessage is Apple’s replacement for SMS… In case you’re not aware, when two people have iPhones and iMessage enabled, all messages are sent between the two people via iMessage. If the service is broken, the iPhone will normally detect it and send the message as SMS. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case today; messages would just go undelivered or show as sent but never received by the recipient.

      This article has nothing to do with SMS. It has to do with iMessage, so unless you know what you’re talking about and have your facts straight, GTFO.