Apple.com crashes as iPhone 4S is unveiled

Users take to Twitter to vent their frustrations about the downed site

Shortly before Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, the company's website went down.

People quickly took to Twitter to vent their frustrations about being unable to reach the site this afternoon. Apple normally shuts down its online store before a new hardware announcement, and that happened early this afternoon. However, after the iPhone 4S announcement was made, Apple.com/iPhone went down, along with the overall Apple.com site. At 3:45 p.m. EDT, some users reported that the site was back up, although many users were still receiving "Access Denied" messages from Apple.com and Apple.com/iPhone.

Early this afternoon, Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, a 3G smartphone designed to run applications faster than its predecessor, the iPhone 4. Excitement has been building over the past week for the iPhone announcement, with people clamoring online for the latest information about the new device.

However, many users were frustrated by not being able to get onto the official Apple website. Around 3:30 p.m. today, the phrase "access denied" was trending on Twitter, along with "iphone4s" and "4GS."

At midday, Internet monitoring service provider Keynote said it had been monitoring serious issues with Apple's website and said the site had gone down completely and continued to experience severe and intermittent performance issues.

The site appeared to be back up around 4 p.m.

On Twitter, a user called drakemac wrote, "apple.com goes boom! Site is down," while montymetzger tweeted, "Apple.com is down, 'access denied' error message. Meanwhile, 'access denied' is trending on Twitter, and someone at Apple is getting fired." A tweeter named lexfri noted how bad the timing was for Apple to crash today: "Oof, how embarrassing for Apple: The Apple Store webpage is down, on today of all days."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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