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Tuesday, December 27, 2005, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Outage hits Apple during Christmas rush

A mid-day power outage knocked Apple’s inventory and management systems offline on Friday, severing the company’s links to credit card processing networks around the world.

The outage also interrupted sales at the company's retail stores during what is considered by analysts to be one of the three highest-grossing days of the holiday shopping season.

One tipster told AppleInsider the outage lasted approximately two hours where he or she was located. Meanwhile, a post on the ifoAppleStore Web site offers an account from one retail store where the outage lasted over 30 minutes.

"The outage forced retail store staffers to manually process credit card purchases for over 30 minutes, slowing the POS process to a crawl," ifo reported. "Meanwhile, the already-long lines at some stores snaked out the front door, discouraging new customers from coming inside to make purchases."

There is no word on what caused the power outage.