Apple's iTunes, App Store, iBooks Store suffer unscheduled downtime [ux2]

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Customers looking to purchase apps, music or e-books through found themselves out of luck on Friday as a handful of Apple's internet services were hit by an hours-long outage, the third such downtime to hit Apple's services this month.

Apple in an update to its internet services status webpage confirmed that "some users" are experiencing problems purchasing items from the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes and iBooks Store. Issues have also been reported with iTunes in the Cloud and the Volume Purchase Program.

Customers attempting to connect to iTunes are being met with error messages, while others find themselves unable to complete App Store transactions.

As recorded on Apple's site, the outage began at around 11:30 a.m. Pacific and as of this writing has been ongoing for four hours. The company has not disclosed the nature of the downtime or offered an estimate as to when the affected services will be reactivated.

Today's troubles mark the third time Apple's internet services went down this month. Earlier in June, connectivity issues related to iCloud Music Library caused Apple Music authentication problems and left users unable to stream tracks from iTunes. A day later an apparent server glitch took down a huge swath of the company's internet services including almost all iCloud-related products. Like today's outage, App Store and iTunes purchases were negatively impacted.

Update: Apple TV services are now down for some users.

Update 2: Apple reported all services returned to normal operations shortly before 2:30 p.m. Pacific. The downtime lasted approximately six hours.

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