Heavy demand for iOS 5 initially swamps Apple’s servers

“Apple’s newly-released operating system, iOS 5, has been causing problems for some of those trying to download it,” BBC News reports.

“The free software update, which promises 200 new features, has been so popular that Apple’s servers appear to have struggled to keep up with demand,” The Beeb reports. “Many users complained on Apple forums that the download was taking time, with some having to retry many times.”

The Beeb reports, “Technology consultant Jay Freeman said the problem was down to over-demand. ‘To anyone getting ‘An internal error occurred.’ (3200) while installing iOS 5.0, Apple’s servers are swamped, and failing half the requests,’ he tweeted.”

Iain Mackenzie reports for BBC News, “The problems were cleared-up by Thursday morning – presumably because most of the US was asleep.”

“It is a mark of users’ appetite for new features that this happened – global net traffic spiked according to some measures,” Mackenzie reports. “However, Apple will be under pressure to beef-up its systems for future updates, especially as the number of iPhone and iPad owners continues to grow.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “coffee lover” for the heads up.]


  1. I was actually going to update my software last night, but I hadn’t yet upgraded to iTunes 10.5, so I had to download that first – along with all the other updates that I needed to download. When I started, it told me the download would take 2 hours. So I left it on overnight – first time in a long time I’ve done that for a software update. 😉

  2. I guess that’s what happens when you push updates for Lion, iOS, iOS versions of iWork, Aperutre, iPhoto, and all third party iOS 5 updates at the same time.

    3 computers and 5 iOS devices for my house took me most of last night.

    1. No shit! Just about everyone in the world that owns an Apple product was encouraged to hit those servers yesterday. I’m surprised anyone got anything and the whole system didn’t just melt down.

  3. What’s the rush? Doesn’t this always happen when a major software release occurs? How about next time there’s a lottery for establishing a queue. There must be an app for that somewhere. 😉

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result.”

  4. No download took more than an hour and all mobile devices were done before I went to bed. Even the lion update for my iMac came down before I went to sleep so I started that and went to bed.

    1. Laptop, iPhone and two towers done in a couple hours last night. IPad cooking now. iOS 5 update left a glitch on the iPhone: red number tag on the home screen Mail icon shows one more unopened item than is actually there.

  5. My first few attempts early yesterday afternoon were met with “Internal error” dialog. I just kept trying and got my iPhone updated later in the afternoon. Last night about 8, I tried updating my iPad and got it first try. I think considering how much stuff they were trying to push out, things went smoothly.

    What a week to work in Apple Retail – software updates and roll-outs out the wazzoo followed by iPhone 4Steve Friday. Whew!

  6. I don’t mind that they couldn’t cope with the demand, it’s always going to be tricky to cope with huge spikes in demand, I just wish they had a more graceful way of showing it. I had to go through the whole process 4 times before it would work, with it failing at almost the last hurdle each time.

  7. After several efforts yesterday, I gave up. Too many people were attempting at the same time. Last evening, once I arrived home, I was able to update my MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. I was also able to update my iPad and iPhone – finally. Some minor glitches, during updating the Air, but otherwise all went well.

    Unfortunately, this morning my iCloud Mail (hmm, that will take getting used to) isn’t working. The server keeps rejecting the password. So, there are still some glitches they’re working out.

  8. The first 150mb was clicking right along, then the whole thing slowed down to a crawl (about 5% of the through put rate prior). I assumed it was the dastardly work of Verizon throttling down my internet download speed when I exceeded the 150mb point.

  9. I swear. It’s seems like so many people were throwing hissy fits because the Apple servers got swamped. It’s like everyone only had one day before the world ended to get iOS 5 downloaded. Talk about instant gratification. Honestly, is there really any companies’ corporate servers that wouldn’t get swamped with tens of millions of update requests within a span of a few hours?

    I continue reading about Apple device users crying that that Apple needs to beef up their servers or some crap. What Apple needs to do is explain to users that no reasonable amount of servers will be able to handle that type of instantaneous peak load. What computer or cellphone company in the past even requires that sort of mass update due to having a hundred million active devices receiving an update? Do people even stop to think about such logistics before crying that Apple is dropping the ball. Apple better figure out a way to roll out updates so that everyone doesn’t try at once to appease the many crybabies that need their toys.

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