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(Pocket-lint) - iPhone and iPad owners looking to buy an app at the moment are being shown a blank screen in the Apple App Store when they try to see what's what with the latest apps on the go. 

While the App Store is still accessible from iTunes on the desktop, the fault, which started around 8pm GMT has left those surfing the App Store on their iPhone or iPad with just a blank screen. Searches for apps within the store deliver a blank screen, as does going to the Featured apps section. Even specific links from Google search result in a blank screen returned. 

Apple has confirmed on its service page that is it having problems with iMessage:

"Users are experiencing a problem with the service listed above. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available," Apple said at around 9:15pm GMT.

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It's the second time Apple's iMessage service has gone down in recent weeks. The last outage was on 25 October

Disgruntled users have turned to Twitter, as is now customary, to vent their frustrations:

"The app store on Apple is down. Meanwhile the android market on Android is open. Say nothing," said Carma on Twitter. 

Kevin Mitchell didn't hold back either: "Has Forstall pressed the self-destruct button? RT @KyleSaric: App Store and iMessages both down?"

We will keep you posted. 

Writing by Stuart Miles.