Apple has issued an explanation for the access problems with its .Mac service yesterday.

The company is blaming equipment failures, and states that a third-party vendor is at fault. Equipment from that vendor is now being replaced. Apple has admitted to a network outage between 6.30am to 9.30am (Pacific daylight time). This however does not explain problems faced by UK users yesterday morning from about 1.30am (Pacific Time).

A message reads: "Dear .Mac member, we hope you haven't been greatly inconvenienced by the two .Mac network outages we've experienced in the past two weeks (including this morning). They were the result of equipment failures, and since the equipment vendor has not been able to persuade us that the problem will not occur again, we've already begun installing new equipment from a different vendor."

Data stored For those concerned about the safety of their data, the message continues: "We're completely back up and running now, and no data or mail was lost. We expect the equipment change over to be complete within the next several weeks, and we'll be working hard to ensure that there are no further issues during that time. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience while we make this transition, and if you do experience any difficulties, please go to for up to the minute information and status."

Further information on the company's support site warns: "Some messages that have been sent from other domains may be delayed in their delivery to your account. These will be re-sent according to the schedule of the originating server."

Yesterday, Macworld reported that access to Apple's .Mac suite – HomePage, iDisk, eMail and the .Mac forums – had been intermittent over the weekend, with no feedback from the company.