Apple’s iOS 7 Downloads Almost Broke the Internet

by Istvan Fekete on September 30, 2013

When Apple released iOS 7 at 10 a.m. 12 days ago, those eager downloaders of the update — the biggest update since the original iPhone — generated more than three times the amount of Apple.com traffic as usual, and in some cases triggered slowdowns for other Web activities.

Blue Coat, a Web security company that tracks Web activity through various service providers, found that in the five days following the release of the iOS update, customers saw a 265% increase in Apple.com traffic compared to the five previous days.

“As of June, Apple had sold 600 million iOS devices, 93 percent of which were running the latest software, iOS 6. Rabid fans — check. Large file download — check. It’s no surprise that Apple’s servers couldn’t keep pace.”

“For customers who typically saw Apple.com account for less than 4 percent of their traffic, the number tripled to more than 13 percent on average. In at least one case, Apple.com traffic skyrocketed to over 32 percent of total Web traffic.”

The result: a general slowdown in speed that took some by surprise.

Just like any previous iOS update, iOS 7 varied in size depending on the device and iOS version users were upgrading from. For instance, the update weight in at 915 MB on my iPad 4, while for others — such as a Verizon iPhone user — the download size went up to 1.2 GB. The most interesting part was that — in some cases — it required nearly four times that much free space to install locally.

As the company points out, Web traffic from Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming video sites are fairly predictable. But an iOS update is difficult to plan for, so according to the Blue Coat blog post, better caching could fix the issue.

Apple announced during the iPhone event that is expects to sell its 700 millionth iDevice sometime in October. The latest stats show that iOS 7 has seen the fastest adoption yet, with 35% of all (upgradeable) users running the latest mobile OS within 24 hours. Earlier last week, it was noted that 200 million iDevices are already running iOS 7.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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