“Apple Inc.’s iTunes and App stores couldn’t process purchases or download items to users worldwide for more than six hours on Wednesday,” Annie Massa reports for Bloomberg.

“The iTunes, App and Mac App stores were unavailable for all users, according to a message on the company’s system-status Web page at 11:35 a.m. New York time. Service for the iBooks Store also was interrupted,” Massa reports. “A timeline on the page said the outage had been under way since before 5 a.m. Access issues for users of iCloud Mail and other cloud services lasted about four hours and had been resolved, according to the timeline.”

“‘I can’t recall an outage this long before,’ Daniel Ernst, an analyst at Hudson Square Research, said in a telephone interview. ‘I think that we’ll see more and more of this across the industry as we become more dependent on the cloud, but I don’t think it’s going to have a material impact,'” Massa reports. “‘If it’s a data-center breach, it could be meaningful, but it’s very hard to say what the impact will be without knowing what the cause is,’ said Stuart Jeffrey, an analyst at Nomura Securities International.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: UPDATE 3:05pm EDT: Apple apologizes for widespread service outage.