After enduring a massive set of service disruptions on March 21, 2022, Apple Inc. (AAPL) experienced yet more a day later, on March 22. Among the services beset by issues on March 22 were the Apple App Store, Apple Music, Apple Books, Podcasts, the Mac App Store, Game Center, iCloud web apps, Apple Card, and Weather.
The outages on March 22 generally began at 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time. Apple indicated that all these problems were resolved by around 6:09 p.m. and that all 68 of its listed services were available as of 11:15 p.m.
- Apple (AAPL) suffered a second straight day of service outages on March 22, 2022.
- The services in question were down for up to 90 minutes or so.
- Services are Apple's fastest growing and most profitable line of business; keeping them up and running is thus of major importance.
Problems Again Varied By User
As with the outages on March 21, tests conducted by the staff of tech-focused website The Verge indicated that the problems with a given service were not consistent across all users, even among those trying to access it at the same time. For example, during the outage, Apple Music worked for some staff members of The Verge but not for others, and many of them had issues with trying to download apps or updates from the App Store. Frequently, the progress circle would spin for an extended period, then return to a download or update button after failing.
Significance for Apple
While occasional service outages are to be expected, widespread breakdowns of the scope experienced by Apple on March 22-23, 2022, have the potential to tarnish the company's reputation for reliability. This, in turn, may have a dampening effect on future sales and customer loyalty.
Moreover, services are a key area of growth for Apple, currently representing 16% of total sales. The only product contributing a larger share of total revenue is the iPhone, at 58%. In the final quarter of calendar 2021 (which corresponds to the first quarter of Apple's fiscal year 2022), services revenues were up by 23.8% year over year (YOY), far outpacing the growth rate of 11.2% for total revenues. Additionally, services delivered a hefty gross profit margin of 72.8% in that same quarter.
As tech-focused website Tom's Guide observes, "services matter very much to Apple, and keeping them online is a top priority."