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Millions potentially locked out by Apple iMessage, iCloud outage

A number of Apple services have been temporarily offline for some users this week, including iMessage and a number of iCloud features.

Apple's support page reported an "Issue" with five of its approximately three dozen services.

Some users were locked out of iCloud Documents, Photo Stream, iPhoto Journals, or Backup & Restore; the iMessage application also experienced problems sending or downloading attachments.

Less than one per cent of users were affected by the outage, though, as AppleInsider pointed out, that number could actually be in the millions, since iCloud now has more than 300 million members.

However, Apple's support page was soon reporting normal service for all of its products. The Cupertino-based company also had to contend with an hour-long iTunes issue that prevented users from making purchases.

Additionally, a late-Wednesday glitch meant that some people could not create a new Apple ID.

A similar outage hit iCloud users in February, when all services — including mail, contacts, calendar, photo stream, and backup — were rendered unavailable for about 11 per cent of users, or 25 million people.

Trouble struck again in June, knocking one-fifth of the service's users offline for more than an hour.

Those frustrated with consistent iCloud outages may take reprieve in the new version expected next month as part of the iOS 7 update.