Apple has had much to deal with in the last several months, and it looks as though it has now gotten worse. On Tuesday, an iMessage outage left 30% of iOS users—including myself—without the ability to send messages to contacts. In this case, it seems the success of iMessage was its downfall, as I realized during the outage that most of my contacts now own iOS devices. As a result, I was unable to send messages from my Mac or iPad, and had to send them as Text Messages from my iPhone. A number of people who have smartphones other than the iPhone and rely on an iPad or iPod touch to send iMessages were completely cut off for up to 36 minutes yesterday.
Surprisingly, I was sitting in the Walnut Street Apple Store in Philadelphia and I asked the Genius Bar if this was a widespread issue. The Genius checked online on Apple’s System Status page and confirmed that iMessages were in fact, not working. Other people in the store and some of my friends also appeared to be having issues with their iMessage as well. This made me think of the amount of customer complaints Apple would receive, especially because this was something that is constantly used by people. If GameCenter went down for one hour, it wouldn’t be a big deal because there aren’t millions of people using it. However, it is safe to assume there are thousands of people using their iMessages at any given time, especially because it has become standard on all iOS devices.
This only furthers some of the bad press currently surrounding Apple, with the company’s Maps and Siri failing to satisfy customer needs. iOS 7 may dispel some of the negativity towards the company, but it will not be made available to the public until later this year. Apple did not cite a reason as to why iMessages went down for some time, although it may have been likely that the company was working on improving the service for upcoming iOS 7 betas.