Apple’s iOS 7 update obliterates records, doubles Internet traffic

“Apple iPhone and iPad users drove data demands on some ISPs around the world to double from their normal levels on Wednesday evening as they tried to download iOS 7, the latest version of the Californian company’s operating system,” Charles Arthur reports for The Guardian.

“By Thursday morning an estimated 130m people had updated their devices – based on data from Mixpanel, an analytics company which tracks the OS being used on apps and web pages,” Arthur reports. “It found that by mid-afternoon on Thursday in the UK, 10 hours after iOS 7 was released, 33% of iOS devices it monitored were running iOS 7 – compared to 2.9% before its release, which would have been use by developers with pre-release versions – and that the figure was growing by about 1% per hour. Separate calculations by Benedict Evans of Enders Analysis suggest that there are 415m “live” iOS devices, excluding the Apple TV. Extended across all devices, that would imply 130m iOS 7 users in less than 12 hours.”

Arthur reports, “demand for the free download – which averaged 750MB but peaked in size at 1.4GB for some iPad models – meant heavy loads for ISPs woridwide. In the UK a graph from the London Network Access Point (LONAP), which provides services for ISPs across Britain showed an abrupt spike at 6pm as the download become available. Demand peaked at about 9:30pm as Apple’s servers, which had initially struggled, began running more smoothly. BT Retail told the Guardian that traffic levels were at the highest ever seen: ‘within 20 minutes of the launch traffic grew over 200 gigabits per second,’ said a spokesperson.”

More info and charts in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Sarah” and “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]


  1. I just wish all the major news media publishes these big time pluses from Apple. The iHaters are just frothing to the mouth today and this kind of stuff will make them scurry back into the basement like cockroaches. lol

  2. Apple’s servers were no match lol
    They’ve once again underestimated the demand.

    I’ve expericneced some bugs but i like the new OS a lot. It really feels like getting a new phone.

    1. I don’t think it was an underestimation. They just still don’t have the capacity to server everyone around the world that quickly. These are insane amounts of traffic. More peer-to-peer distribution is needed, I think. Imagine your download coming from your neighbour at lightening speed instead of from thousands of miles away! As long as the download is secured and can be verified, it should be a pretty safe model.

        1. For Jim:

          As it was in a previous interval, the Trepidation, Irresolution, and Indecision failed to achieve the desired consequence. Grudgingly acknowledging that lack of success, return to the diabolical rigid plane upon which people practice the technique of rendering images upon media. Perhaps in a proximate moment in the future.

    2. Hey, John. I’m not sure it’s that Apple underestimated the demand. Perhaps there just aren’t any server farms up to handing Apple’s kinda demand efficiently, without a couple of hiccups (maybe they should ask Samsung why they don’t have that problem). Happily, I updated 2 iPhone 5s (how the heck do you do that right with the lower case “s”), 2 iPad 3s (much easier) and an iPad mini without a glitch. About 20 minutes per device.

  3. Looks like AndroiOS 7 is popular now. Just because it is popular does not mean it’s quality work. Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus are popular, but their music sucks almost as bad as AndroiOS 7!

      1. It’s cute that you got each other’s back an all..

        Btw, so are you agreeing with Sir Floyd that iOS is just an Android look-a-like, or ..err how he so succinctly put before, is just an iPhone rip-off looking OS, or just that he hates iOS7? Just curious..

        1. Mild mannered to a fault, you are 🙂

          silverhawk1 does have a point (with his cute “troll speech” coinage) because Floyd needed a few days to learn to spell his own name.

        2. Please shut up. You are clearly white knighting Fl(l)oyd, I would not be surprised if you were Floyd himself! Each time you open your mouth, you sound more foolish than before. You are so foolish you make the actual Stee Ballmer smart by comparison! I like your strategy, BLN, I like it a lot!

        1. Why?

          To deny assholes like Seamus, Silver, Returd, and Rorsshach the pleasure of attempting pathetic personal attacks when they disagree with BLN?

          However would MDN be able to survive without the antisocial trolls click-attacking honorable forum users like BLN?

        2. What? I hope you are being scarcastic. People like Ballmer’s Left Nut, Ballmer’s Right Nut, Ballmer’s Middle Shaft, and Fl(l)oyd ruin the place by ranting and raving about Apple products, mostly focusing on iOS7. I respect the freedom of speech, but we should also have the freedom to call out on how immature some of these trolls can be.

      2. Hey Bro BLN,
        I think you mean 1935 Germany. In 1929 the start of the Great Depression rocked Germany and by 1930 German democracy was floundering but not yet dead. There was still freedom of speech and other civil liberties. Hitler didn’t come to power until 1933, which I think is where you were headed.

  4. It were major problems for many people trying to download it on the day of release. I hope Apple analyzes what happened and comes up a clever way to prevent it from happening again. Perhaps they could rent cloud server networks from other companies, such a Akamai or Amazon, to supercharge their content distribution network on release days. Or do peer-to-peer distribution, utilizing iOS devices near you to create a Bittorrent-like network for fast decentralized distribution. There’s got to be more seamless Apple-like way to do major releases like this. Otherwise, it’s just going to get worse the more popular iOS gets.

      1. Interesting. Akamai probably has the most advance content distribution network in the world. If that’s not good enough for iOS downloads, Apple really has their work cut for them to innovate iOS distribution.

    1. Ridiculous. There will simply never be enough servers, nor is there any need to add servers, just for iOS updates. People can just wait a few hours to update if they can’t get it right away.

      1. Just waiting a few hours isn’t that bad, but this was a particularly bad user experience.

        When downloading, iOS gave strange unrealistic time estimates shifting from from 10 minutes, to 49 hours, to 30 seconds. I’d leave and do something else, come back in an hour or two, and see either more weird time estimates or a message about the update failing. Many other people were reporting the same experience I was having. I made 3 attempts to download and install iOS 7 before giving up for the night. The next day it worked without incident, but that first day was a ridiculous.

        If it had just said it would take a few hours, then finished after a few hours, I would not be complaining.

        1. That sort of experience is commonplace for gamers on Steam or Origin when game updates download and their servers are hammered. There are ways to tweak it, though. Apple, almost perversely, controls the entire process, and you must just trust them!

    2. Many of the posters here are missing the point. Apple’s servers were performing fine, the article says, after a short time. The problem for most of us was that our ISPs were overwhelmed by the traffic. The inadequacies in world internet infrastructure is not Apple’s responsibility, any more than fixing the university networks that crashed.

    3. It was only a problem for the impatient types who needed the new operating system RIGHT NOW!!!!!. I was able to install it on the evening of the release date without difficulty.


  5. Google/BB/MS, etc. have wet dreams about folks rushing to update their products in such numbers.

    Turned out that there were 400 people spending the night at a nearby Apple store, so I ordered my gold iPhone 5s from T-Mobile this a.m. (not sure when it’ll arrive though.)

    I downloaded the .ipsw file and manually updated my iPhone 4 without any issues on the 18th. Liking iOS 7 so far and can’t wait to see it run on 64bit!

    1. I used to play with my tablet in the middle of a lake. My dad would get me up in the morning and beat me to death with it. Force me to lick it clean every day and then he would hit me with it when I went to bed at night, 36 hours later.

      1. LUXURY! Licking the tablet clean — at least you got fed. When I wuz young, “tablets” were 2″ thick and made of granite. When y’ got hit upside the head with one of those, y’ know it, I’ll tell ya.

    1. That is truly incredible. Half of all iOS devices in 48 hours? The thing is, people are obviously actively seeking the update. You don’t get to 47% with a little notification on the settings icon. That’s one hell of an awareness quotient.

      1. Agreed and good point. Shouldn’t the halfway point, of all iOS devices, be 350M since Tim they’ll soon sell the 700M-th device? Or is there a number floating around to be removed from the total which represents those devices old enough they can’t run iOS 7?

        1. They have been selling more over time, so the fact that they started in 2007 doesn’t mean half of them are 3 years old, but it’s still silly to assume all 750 million devices are in active current use.

  6. Hey, BLN, I’ll bet you’re still rocking OS9 on your beige PowerPC Mac as well.
    Bloody idiot, iOS 7 is a revelation, a truly superb piece of software engineering. But you’re a whiney little girl who stamps her feet and throws a hissy fit because Jony Ive won’t ask your advice about how it should look.
    As we say in my country, you really are an arse.

  7. I kind of Love and Hate situations like this.

    What I love is that it bashes on the boundaries of Internet bandwidth capacity. Here in the USA we have EMBARRASSINGLY little bandwidth offered by ISPs to their clients. I have friends in Europe who HEARTILY laugh at we poor peasants in the USA with our measly 1 Mbps ‘fast’ Internet from the likes of nasty Verizon. Frack that feces!

    What I hate is:
    Apple really should better time their software releases. They offer them up en masse with the predictable results of:
    (A) Crashing servers, creating subsequent corruption of the source files, which ticks off downloading users to no end.
    (B) Stalling servers, resulting in users having to CANCEL downloads then START the downloads all over again, over and over and over (been there, done than many times) in order to get a complete file
    (C) Cut off downloads that crappy browsers think are complete downloads, resulting in file corruption notices when you attempt to open the shrimpy little things.
    (D) Plain old user frustration, which can be interpreted as user abuse. That’s always a BAD THING. Apple know better.

    I had experienced three of the above four just downloading the new version of Xcode, which was certainly in far less demand than iOS 7.0.1. I pity the optimistic 7.0.1 downloaders. Gag me with the spoon! (A nostalgic idiom).

    The best idea is to let the MOBS have at it for a couple days, then check to see what fun problems result from an update. (Wave ‘Hi!’ to my net bud Topher while you’re there, who is a godsend to Mac users). Then decide how to proceed.

    I personally prefer to download a complete installer off the net, then do the Install myself, rather than cross your fingers that the automatic installation is gonna do you right. If a ‘combo’ update installer is available, THAT is what I want. The results are consistently better than a mere incremental update. Topher at taught me that.

    1. BTW: I have avoided Verizon’s crap Internet bandwidth in favor of equally abusive Time Warner Cable. If you can bear with their outrageously incompetent and deliberately lousy customer support (until you reach the third tier), TWC has locally given me the best results. Meanwhile, I’ve written two scathing real life horror exposés about TWC’s user abuse. What a catastrophe of a company.

      1. Ouch. Sorry to hear that. I am glad I switched to Dish though. Used to be with Directv, but got fed up with their pricing schemes. Dish offers great Internet service along with satiellite TV. I would totally recommend it if you want to get away from that mess of a company. (The Microsoft of cable?) 😉

        1. Bandwidth I get from TWC: 30 Mbps. But don’t tell them! I’m only signed up for 20 Mbps. Meanwhile, my friends in Copenhagen laugh and laugh because they get 50 (that’s FIFTY) Mbps standard bandwidth. You have to pay extra for 100 Mbps, boohoo.

        2. 50? Really? European cable companies are so generous compared to our companies. I wonder why they can’t do that here…But I hope the previous post did not make me sound like a Dish shill or anything like that. It’s just that the cable companies and ISP’s in my area just…frankly suck. And you can forget about OTA Digital tv out here. It felt like I won the lottery when I first subscribed to Dish because their service is amazing. My Internet connection is probably beans compared to those across the pond, but it works great for me.

        3. Many ISPs in the USA CAN do that here. But instead they GOUGE users to pay exorbitant fees to reach these lofty levels of bandwidth. You’d think the Internet was a ROYALIST system where only the ARISTOCRACY was allowed what’s standard fare in Denmark. Sheesh. It feeds right into my concepts about are nasty, brain dead US Corporate Oligarchy, rapists of their customers as opposed to enablers of their customers. Sick scheiße IYAM.

          I have zero experience with satellite Internet, except knowing how it works and the fairly lousy upload speeds via typically a POTS copper wire. Out in the boondocks (which I personally enjoy just as much a city living) it can be a great solution.

          Where I live, it used to be shootout territory between Verizon and Time Warner. Then darned if the two didn’t attempt to MERGE their Internet in order to force MONOPOLY PRICING on their victim customers. Thankfully there remain enough grains of sanity in the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) that this evil scheme was shot down in a hurry.

          That horror phrase that encapsulates current US biznizz keeps ringing in my ears: “This is the USA! If your not cheating, your not trying!” <- Misspelling deliberate.

          Thank goodness for the few companies with brilliant integrity still left in the planet. That's why I like Apple.

        4. Yeah…. Don’t forget most all European countries have a fraction of the area we do here in the US to roll out their infrastructure. I’m all for competition though, don’t get me wrong. I just think the US screwed up by not making the carriers all adhere to a standard, such as GSM. This would make it easier to shop around and take your phone with you elsewhere instead of knowing the fact you will also need a new phone in some cases. Oh well. It’s SLOWLY getting better. Maybe in my kid’s lifetime…

        5. Excellent point regarding land area. The population density within the USA is far less than Europe, which no doubt would be a factor in bandwidth dissipation over distance. It would also affect ISP profitability within a given area of land.

          However, 100 Mbps is readily available in urban centers of the USA, IF you’re willing to pay the price gouging cost inflicted upon you by the US ISPs.

          Yes, enforced standards was the way to go. But the Corporate Oligarchy here is still on their baloney ‘we know better than you do’ jag whereby they want to kill off ALL government regulation of business, as if they have a CLUE how to make ‘free enterprise’ work in the USA without throwing the world into an economic depression again, like they managed to do in 2007 without adequate regulation.

          Moderation in all things.

          I’d love to be able to use cell/mobile Internet at high bandwidth speeds, reliably, anywhere. But there is no such thing anywhere in the USA. I consistently laugh and laugh at how LOUSY mobile technology still is today. Why do we put up with it?! Because its convenience outweighs its not-ready-for-primetime problems. In this respect, it sort of reminds me of Bluetooth technology, which I find to be similarly unreliable, inadequate, not-ready-for-primetime, etc. How the hell Bluetooth was ever used for computers is beyond my comprehension. The lousy technology wasn’t even good enough for wireless music transmission, which was its original purpose!!!

          But I’m in a ranting kind of mode. Time for me to hit the hay I’d say.

  8. I think it’s a great idea you staying firmly in the past with iOS 6 BLN. And it’s terrific news for us iOS 7 users since you won’t have anything to contribute to iOS 7 discussions. This surely must mean less idiotic posts from you?

    Well, here’s hoping anyway.

  9. Thanks for telling us! We’re so in awe of your hipness!

    (Seriously, what is the point of this bitter post? You remind me of the whiners in 2001 who made a point of telling everyone on the Internet that they’d NEVER upgrade to OS X.)


  10. Things we know:
    — iOS7 is an insanely huge hit. About half of the entire user base already has it installed, in under three days.
    — The new iPhone 5s is creating long lines, just like the 5 and 4s did, with demand outstripping supply. People want this phone crazy bad.
    — And yet, somehow, Apple is doomed. Apple is doomed, right? The pundits always think Apple is doomed.


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