Apple has confirmed that its iMessage and FaceTime services are down this afternoon, after our readers and users on social media services fired off a bevy of complaints.

Users are unable to send iMessages from their devices over Wi-Fi nor 3G. The Messages app is instead sending the message as a text message over 3G. FaceTime calls can't be launched, either.

The problem doesn't look to be striking all users. Apple says "some users affected" on its Apple Services, Stores, and iCloud system status page - still, annoying to those who are.

Apple hasn't provided an official timeline on when it expects the services to return. These types of outages aren't out of the ordinary, happening almost every month now. The outages were particularly bad in the autumn 2012, lasting a few hours each time. Apple has 250 million users on iMessage, sending 2 billion messages a day. It needs to figure something out. 

apple s popular imessage and facetime services are suffering downtime [update back] image 2

We'll keep you posted.

Update: The services have now returned.