Apple Pay Suica launch meltdown


Japanese users vented their frustration on twitter this morning as Apple Pay servers buckled under Apple Pay Suica launch day traffic. The iCloud status page showed that ‘some users’ could not access Apple Pay. NHK reported the problem with JR East’s Mobile Suica system saying that it 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 in the morning JST but servers quickly bogged down during peak commuting hours. JR East said the 3.5 hour Mobile Suica outage was due to 10 X the normal server traffic load. Service was restored by 11 am. Japanese iPhone customers in Tokyo really want to use Suica Apple Pay and it says something about the size of the Japanese iPhone installed base if it can take down both Apple Pay servers and the JR East Mobile Suica system.

On a lighter note, JR East plastered JR stations with Apple Pay Suica posters. Here is what it looks like at JR Akihabara.