Some Apple Stores have had their point-of-sale systems go down repeatedly today, TechCrunch has learned. There was an extensive outage early Thursday morning and there has been an ongoing outage this evening in some stores.
Reports from our sources and from Twitter corroborate that there is some sort of issue going on right now. Apple Store employees are selling to customers with pad and pen, and old-fashioned credit card machines. The Apple Store POS system runs on a combination of software including the RetailMe app and EasyPay apps. The hardware consists of iPod touch and iPad machines running the software. The iPod touches are outfitted with battery cases and card readers and are used as mobile checkout devices.
Obviously, this is fairly terrible timing, as Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display just launched Tuesday, and it’s only been a couple of weeks since the iPad Air launch. Apple Stores are busy with people buying these devices, and the outages are making it difficult to maintain the normal speed of service.
— Crystal Hutchinson (@chutch8582) November 15, 2013
We’ve reached out to Apple to see if they have anything to share about the cause or duration of the outages. The outages this morning affected the ability to use personal pickup in order to snag iPad minis ordered online. That outage lasted several hours. At this time it appears as if the self-service EasyPay functions of the company’s Apple Store app, which allows customers to scan a barcode on an item and pay for it, are still up and running. Apple limits that to certain items and accessories, and it doesn’t work for big-ticket items like the iPad.