Japan Apple Pay Launch Slams Apple iCloud And JR East Suica Servers – Update


Japanese users vented their frustration on twitter this morning as iCloud servers strained under Apple Pay Japan launch day traffic. The Apple Japan iCloud status page showed that some users could not access Apple Pay. NHK also reported problems with JR East’s Mobile Suica system that experienced extremely heavy traffic. The JR East Suica support page (image below) acknowledged the unresponsive Mobile Suica server status and asked for customer patience.


Apple Pay card loading was working smoothly early this morning in Japan but the servers bogged down during peak commuting hours.

Update: JR East says the 3.5 hour Mobile Suica outage was due to 10 times the normal server traffic load. Service was restored by 11 am, IT Media has the details. Japanese iPhone customers in Tokyo really want to use Suica Apple Pay. It says something about the size of the Japanese iPhone installed base if it can take down the JR East Mobile Suica system: a road hardened infrastructure built for massive scale.

On a lighter note, JR East has plastered JR stations with Suica Apple Pay posters. There must be a Suica Apple Pay Yamanote train running somewhere too. Here is what it looks like at JR Akihabara.

On a final note, with a launch this big, both for Apple and JR East, I predict Tim Cook will remark on it during the fourth quarter results conference call later today. It had to be Apple’s largest Apple Pay launch ever.