Apple issues apology as iTunes & App Store outage persists for 7+ hours

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Apple on Wednesday issued a rare public apology to customers, as the company's high-profile digital storefronts continue to suffer hours-long global outages sparked by what Apple is calling an "internal DNS error."

Racks of Apple's iCloud servers in Maiden, NC

"We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning," Apple told CNBC. "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."

The outage affects the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, App Store, and Mac App Store. Users are unable to buy apps or other content, and in some cases are prevented from downloading updates and even opening already-purchased apps.

Problems first surfaced early Wednesday morning Eastern time, though the company did not acknowledge the issue publicly for several hours. Privately, Apple representatives told developers that the problem would shortly be resolved, though that did not turn out to be the case.

According to Apple's system status dashboard, technical issues also brought down its iCloud mail and account web services at the same time, though those appear to have been restored to full operational status.