Yesterday’s 12-Hour iTunes Outage Cost Apple $25 Million In App Revenue

The bigger they are the harder they fall, and you could almost hear a thud when Apple's web stores and various services went down on Wednesday. You could certainly hear the groans as the outage loomed on, effectively halting online sales from Apple's iTunes Store, iBooks Store, App Store, and Mac App Store, ultimately costing the Cupertino outfit millions of dollars in lost app revenue.

It all started around 2 AM Pacific on March 11, less than two full days after Apple showed off its shiny new toys, including its much anticipated Apple Watch and new MacBook systems. The outage lasted about 12 hours, during which time Apple's iCloud service was also nonoperational, until Apple resolved the Domain Name Service error that it said caused the problem.


"We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning," Apple said in a statement during the outage. "The cause was an internal DNS error at Apple. We're working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible, and we thank everyone for their patience."

All services were restored by 2:04 PM Pacific, according to Apple, though by then the financial damage had already been down. Going offline for 12 hours, several of which occurred when many Americans were sound asleep dreaming of the days when MacBooks came with more than one port, resulted in an estimated $25 million or more in lost app revenue. That's based on Apple collecting a combined $18.5 billion in revenue from the affected stores last year, which works out to $50 million per day.

Apple investors feigned scorn at the outage as the company's stock price dipped 2 percent to close at $122.24 on Wednesday. It's up slightly to $122.45 in pre-market trading.