Apple is having iCloud activation problems at the worst possible time (updated)

The outage might be due to sheer holiday demand.

Dana Wollman/Engadget

You’re not alone if you’re having problems getting your newly gifted iPad or Apple Watch up and running. As AppleInsider first reported, Apple is warning of iCloud account and sign-in issues (ongoing as we write this) that appear to have started on Christmas Day — right as many people were setting up their devices for the first time. While Apple didn’t say much in the alert, it told one Twitter user that “high capacity” was creating problems.

We’ve asked Apple for comment.

It wouldn’t be shocking if the sheer volume of gifted products was directly responsible. Device activations already tend to spike around Christmas regardless of brand. That demand could easily increase during a pandemic when people are buying tablets to talk to distant friends or smart speakers to play music while working from home.

Still, this certainly isn’t great timing. It could sour the initial experience of Apple gadgets for many users, even if that feeling is likely to pass once activation works properly. Let’s just hope this issue doesn’t last much longer — and that similar issues don’t affect other manufacturers.

Update 12/26 5:25PM ET: Apple has marked the issue as resolved at 4:35PM Eastern, or just under 36 hours after it began. The exact causes and scale are still unknown.

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