Visitors to the Web site got an error message: Access Denied. You don't have permission to access 'http://www.apple.com/' on this server.
Apple's hugely anticipated Let's Talk iPhone keynote event began on Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The company did not offer a live stream on its Web site, but some people may have gone there looking for one, which undoubtedly contributed to the traffic overload.
Customers determined to get their hands on a new iPhone or learn more about it will not be deterred by the crash; they will just come back later.
The event got a lot of hype because it was CEO Tim Cook's first major public appearance since he took over for Steve Jobs, who stepped down in late August. But the biggest buzz came from the expectation that Cook would use the occasion to unveil the much-discussed iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 4S looks the same as the old iPhone 4, but the features are much enhanced. A dual-core chip from Samsung provides faster graphics and general performance, and the battery life is better than any previous iPhone: eight hours of talk time and 40 hours of music. The camera and video have also been upgraded to capture higher-resolution images.
Update: The Web site is back up as of 3:40 p.m.