Demand for iOS 5 and iCloud was so high, Apple almost broke the Internet

“Owners of an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV were yesterday able to update their devices to Apple’s new iOS 5 software, providing them with a number of new features and access to the company’s new cloud service iCloud,” Matt Brian reports for TNW.

“It appears that whilst Apple stuggled to cope with demand, ISPs were facing issues trying to keep traffic flowing through their networks, as Apple device owners attempted to download at least 600 megabyte updates,” Brian reports. “One ISP, AAISP, was ‘caught unawares’ and yesterday evening saw ‘silly high usage since around 18:40 [BST]’ leading them to think that ‘something [was] clearly ‘up’ and there [was] some ‘internet event’ happening.'”

Brian reports, “As Cult of Mac notes, that ‘internet event’ was the release of iOS 5, Mac OS X 10.7.2 and a number of new applications. Throughout the evening, AAISP engineers posted on the company’s Incident and Status Page, noting just what was happening to its network as subscribers fired up their iTunes clients and updated their iOS devices.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. It would be interesting to see what the loads were at the Apple iCloud facilities. And aren’t they glad Apple delayed the iPhone 4S to this Friday. Maybe Apple brings down the Telcos.

  2. Apple broke the internet. Waaaaah! Apple might need to roll out major updates on a device basis in the future instead of dumping them all on the internet at once. I’ve heard now with iOS 5.0 minor updates will be pushed in the background which will eliminate this type of peak server demand.

    One thing for sure, this sort of internet/server overload won’t happen with Android devices because they’ve got such haphazard releases and the OS is fragmented enough that at most only a tiny percentage of those devices will get updated at one time, if at all. The Droidtards will claim superiority of Android OS due to this reason.

    To me, I see iOS as the most cohesive of mobile OSes where users are actively interested in getting updates over multiple generations of devices. Updating a device as old as the 3GS is could be considered pretty amazing in terms of usable smartphone life for an average consumer. That’s really extending the life of a device to say you got your money’s worth from it.

  3. The worst thing was downloading the iOS update, it kept timing out at just over 600MB, and when I restarted it it started from the beginning, good way to eat up a big chunk of my Data Cap.
    I hope now that iOS can do updates without a computer they will be smaller files. Also a lot of people I talked to had issues with restoring their settings from backup.

    1. My update for lion, took almost two hours to download, but no issues.
      iPad update to iOS 5, was at same time I downloaded 10.7.2, took 2tries to install it. I had a 3000 error of some sort and had to start over.

      My apple tv, took 2-3 hours to download, no problems.

      My iPhone….. 6 hours. Was the last to download.
      Failed three times… Gave me option to wipe the iPhone and start fresh but would lose everything once. The 4th time it took.

      Think about it though, the above was close to 3 gb of data (also had iPhoto and aperture updates and two apple tv’s)
      Now multiply that by about 150million people… At the same time.


  4. Any IT professional who was blindsided by this “internet event” should be fired. This is a perfect example of the PC centric bias of many internet service providers and IT professionals, who still look at Apple’s products as “toys”.

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