Apple event 201203 (iPad 3 introduction, Apple Store video, boy and girl interacting with iPhone 001)

As of yesterday, Apple’s internal retail system which runs Apple Stores in the United States has been experiencing nationwide outage which is threatening to hurt the company’s retail revenue as the downtime continues to slow down the sales process and affect both walk-in purchases and in-store pickups of online orders.

In fact, Apple has now switched to a pen and paper system, in some instances replacing its custom-made EasyPay self-checkout software/hardware combo with old-fashioned credit card machines.

The full details are right past the fold..

According to iDB tipsters and reports on Twitter, the issue appeared widespread as of Thursday evening and affecting a lot of shoppers. The worst part of the computer outage is that it affects Apple’s Personal Pickup services.

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch, says that the Apple Store app seemed unaffected as of this morning:

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.

MacRumors chimes in, writing one of their affected readers reported receiving a call from his Apple retail store “notifying him that systems are back up and running,” though other posters insist that the issues persists across most U.S. Apple Stores.

This couldn’t have come at a worst time, with two weeks until the holiday season.

Due to tight availability, walk-in purchases of the iPad mini with Retina display are virtually non-existent as the company focuses on online orders for in-store pickup. As Personal Pickup depends on Apple’s EasyPay/RetailMe apps, people have been unable to collect their ordered Retina iPad minis in stores.

RetailMe and EasyPay run on iPod touches and iPads that act as mobile checkout terminals, and are outfitted with battery cases and card readers.

Have you been to an Apple Store this week?

If you’re affected by the Apple retail system woes, we’d like to hear about your experience down in the comments, especially how Apple is tackling this issue.

Image top of post courtesy of Crystal Hutchinson.

  • Jason Masters

    I love this ! Reminds me of the days I was in the marines and when typhoons would hit and knock out the electrical systems they would retreat to the old school swiped and once all the marines found out lol they all came rushing in with their dpp cards that were already at limit but since there was no way to check they all bought wayyyy over their limit and just paid for it later on lol most of the guys just bought booze but some bought computers cameras it was a funny time man memories lol!!

  • Phil Gamboa

    Yeah. We ordered a 16GB Retina Mini WiFi last night for in store pickup. Waited 3 hours and order still said “processing”. Decided to just go to the store and try to pick it up directly. Couldn’t get it because it was still “processing”.

    We left (around 8:15pm)…I told my wife, our luck would be seeinge an email at 8:45pm that it would be ready. Lo and behold, we got home, got an email at 8:46pm that it is ready! Will be heading back today for pickup. Really want a cellular version though.

  • Karl Kurtz

    GridEx II

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I was so mad when I went to go pick up my iPad and they turned me away. I came back 4 hours later and everything was working again.

  • Toosmoke Duptosee

    Bought an iPhone 5S thursday 11/14 and I guess I was lucky. After I paid for the iPhone, I tried went to browse some accessories and decided to purchase an additional lightning cable. When I brought it to the salesperson, he tried to ring it up and then told me the whole system was down and he couldn’t sell it to me. Someone else then asked to purchase an ipad and was turned down and told the same thing. Then all employees started telling each other that the system was completely down and I left the store. The receipt for my newly purchased iPhone says 12:22pm eastern time on Thursday. So it was within that 10 minutes afterwards that the system initially went down at Nanuet, NY store.

  • T_Will

    Had to return some cases on Friday, was informed the system was down, they proceeded to fill out the return by hand, and just as they were getting ready to take the credit card imprint, someone came over and said the system was back up. They seemed cool under the pressure.