App Store offline
Apple has apologised to its customers after its services such as iTunes and App Stores were inaccessible for 11 hours CC

Apple has restored all its services following a major 11-hour outage and has apologised to its customers blaming an internal server issue for the problem.

On Wednesday, 11 March, millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac users around the world found they were unable to access multiple Apple services, including the company's hugely popular iTunes services and the App Stores on both iOS and Mac OS X.

The problems began at around 9am GMT on Wednesday and continued through until after 8pm on Wednesday evening. At 2.30pm Apple updated its status page to says: "Customers may be unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store."

A subsequent statement from Apple said:

We apologise to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning. The cause was an internal DNS [domain name system] 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.

The DNS system is what converts web addresses like to the number IP address which are read by computers. It is ofter referred to as the internet's phone book.

Apple's iCloud service was also unavailable for several hours meaning people couldn't access email or documents stored on the service.

According to calculations by IBTimes UK, the cost of its services being inaccessible is in the region of £1.6m per hour, which means the company was looking at a loss of £17.6m and while this may a drop in the ocean for a company with a cash pile of almost £120bn, for the developers who rely on Apple's App Store for their livelihood it will have a much more significant impact.