UPDATED: MobileMe Answers? Server Down and Fiber Optic Line Cut?

MobileMe: Apple Apologizes Again

UPDATE: Ask and you shall receive-ish. Apple has posted a Knowledge Base article detailing (part of?) the problem (via Macrumors):

Symptoms Updated: July 22, 2008, 4 p.m. PDT. On Friday, July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18) we experienced a serious issue with one of our MobileMe mail servers. This issue is currently affecting approximately 1% of MobileMe members. Affected members are unable to send or receive email at www.me.com or access email using any email client software such as Mail on a Mac or Microsoft Outlook on a PC. Products Affected MobileMe Mail Resolution We understand this is a serious issue and apologize for this service interruption. We are working hard to restore your service.

Original post after the break...

MobileMe problems continue to mount, user frustration levels continue to rise, and Apple continues to not realize they're becoming a "big company" and along with scaling infrastructure to support a growing user base, their traditional veil of secrecy won't be tolerated by the larger market they want to play in -- especially the enterprise.

Despite Apple's lack of anything approaching a communication strategy (not only for customers, but apparently for their own front-line support people as well), Apple Insider has managed to glean at least some information about what's going on.

Problem the first: a fiber optic cable was cut during maintenance, and has since been repaired.

Problem the second: a mail server went down on Friday and attempts to bring it up have only resulted in more problems.

While these issues can and will arise (Twitter is newsworthy now when it stays up for a couple of days, Amazon S3 went down for a while over the weekend, cables were cut taking whole regions out earlier in the year, etc.), Apple needs to step up on the customer service end, and with more than just small notices on account pages reading: 1% affected.

Wanna play with the big boys in the cloud, you gotta follow the big boy rules on accountability. If it helps, just think of this as a user experience issue, and slap a shiny interface on the problem reporting and resolution system, b'okay?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

UPDATED: MobileMe Answers? Server Down and Fiber Optic Line Cut?


This is so upsetting. I haven't received any of the apology emails that were reported on, and starting today I am now part of the dreaded "1%". Yeah, Apple, it's probably MUCH more than that. My account was scheduled to renew next month, but I will definitely cancel my subscription after all this. So sad.

Before I would subscribe to mobileme it must be reliable. If not I'll stick with Google's free services. I refuse to pay for unreliable service.

I'm not sure I would pay for email service anyway with so many free ones out there. I understand that MobileMe is more than just email, but that's a lot of money just for synching.

I had signed up for MobileMe free trial, but could never connect or sync through my iphone or PC. I got so sick, yeaterday I cancelled my free trial. I have decided not to use this MobileMe thingy, even if they offer me money to use it!!

The most frustrating part is that it's not just 1%. Everyone I know with a .mac email address is not able to access said email. Apple is lying to us. They lure you in with all these promises of syncing your entire life up in the heavens and then instead a big dark cloud moves in and rains on your email parade.

It's not EVERYONE with a .Mac address.
Over the past two weeks, my email has been down for three hours.
That having been said, Apple really does need to do a better job of communicating with their users, but I guess I've grown immune as they never discussed problems when they would occasionally have .Mac email outages either.
The fact that MobileMe was promoted as a cloud solution and is heavily linked to use with the iPhone has simply made some long-standing policies that much more public.

It is now 8 days!!!! I have never heard of such a thing! The communication is pathetic. This has caused even more frustration than lack of mail. Who is their PR company?? They should be fired.

Ten days with no email received and no response from apple. Hate to pile on with just one more complaint, but not even being able to tell a customer what the problem is or when it will be fixed is unacceptable and unprofessional to say the least. Never thought I would say it, but Apple is not what I thought it was on so many levels. To bad to tarnish your company's image with such an unreliable product launch. You would have thought that there was some redundancy and that they would have "tested" the product before releasing it to millions of customers.