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10/12/2011
06:22 PM
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iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster

When Apple's iOS 5 became available Wednesday, many people were plagued by installation problems that bricked devices.

Apple released its long-awaited iOS 5 operating system to anxious users of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Wednesday. For many, the excitement dimmed quickly when, rather than installing on their devices, the update created problems and even bricked phones.

The iOS software became available at 10 A.M. Pacific time. Users first needed to download and install iTunes version 10.5.

Apple made iTunes 10.5 available on Tuesday, a day ahead of iOS 5's release, probably hoping to protect its servers from the massive onslaught of devices seeking the updated software. Once iTunes 10.5 is installed, iOS 5 can be found, downloaded, and installed on iOS devices.

Only it's not quite working out that way.

Reports have flooded Apple support forums, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks about difficulties in updating handsets. The update--which measures more than 800 megabytes for the iPhone 4--can be downloaded but not installed on the handsets. Rather than install, iTunes is generating an error message "3200."

[ What's in iOS 5 for you? See 9 Apple iOS 5 Features That Matter. ]

In addition to complaints of failed updates, those people who have updated successfully report lost/deleted applications and, worse, bricked phones. (Bricked phones are rendered useless.)

Speaking personally, I have been unable to access the iTunes store to update the applications that are installed on my device. I receive an error message saying that the iPhone App Store isn't available.

iPhone users faced a similar problem in 2008, when the iPhone 3G launched on the same day that iOS 2.0 was made available to the iPhone. The crush of people accessing iTunes to register their devices and download the new software caused major headaches for customers and Apple alike.

Also going live Wednesday is Apple's iCloud service, which is supposed to be backed up by a huge data center that Apple built in North Carolina. iCloud, a revamped version of MobileMe, syncs user data and settings across iOS devices. The initial connecting and syncing process is under heavy strain from the sheer volume of users hoping to set up new accounts. It infamously crumbled in 2008, prompting heated meetings within Apple and the departure of at least one Apple manager.

Apple has not acknowledged Wednesday's problems, but given the sentiment seen on Twitter and Facebook, users are not happy.

With the iPhone 4S slated to begin arriving on consumer doorsteps this Friday, Apple needs to make sure its servers are in perfect working order so they can handle the new devices and accounts being activated.

UPDATE: Now that iOS 5 has been available for more than 24 hours, the strain on Apple's servers has eased. It doesn't appear that there are any hiccups preventing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users from downloading the update. Apple's support forums, however, show a healthy dose of trouble for those who've performed the update. Looking at the threads this morning, users report lost files, lost applications, iCloud syncing issues, installation problems and errors, and, unfortunately, bricked devices.

The initial difficulty of downloading the update has passed, but plenty of problems remain for users updating their devices. It's a shame that the problems Apple faced in 2008 with the iPhone 3G and iOS 2.0 have returned.

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ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2011 | 5:08:42 PM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
I'm late to reading this because I was out of circulation for a couple of days. The complaints are valid-up to a point. Calling everyone else sheep and fools is not valid or appropriate. Let's try a little common sense here folks.

First of all, Apple is in a unique space with its mobile devices. Android generally doesn't push a new OS upgrade in a way that makes it available to millions of devices on the same day. The new OS comes out on selected new devices and it's a crapshoot whether your existing device can run the new OS or not. Windows OS for the moment doesn't have millions of users though it's a good product and getting better. So either way you don't have tens of millions of people all over the world trying to update.

Apple learned from its iPhone 3 debacle to at least stagger new phone activations across the world so that they don't all happen on the same day. That has helped for sure. But in the meantime they've added the iPad to the mix and activations of all iDevices have kept on happening. When you have millions of users upgrading at once, some of them with jailbroken devices that are not guaranteed to work the rest with a dizzying variety of setups and installed apps that could cause side effects, who in their right mind would expect a flawless rollout? Frankly the answer on Apple's side is that they will have to stagger their rollouts even more. Not sure what strategy they can use but a constructive use of this situation would be for us to practice crowdsourcing and come up with some helpful ideas for 1 Infinity Loop to ponder.

The answer for users is so dizzyingly simple that I cannot understand why I don't always follow it. Wait a week or two. Let the crowds thin out and glitches be reported so that you know whether to wait for a patched release. Then have at it. What will happen in 14 lousy days? Did you live OK the weeks before the new iOS existed? Yes? Well then you can live with waiting. I didn't follow my own advice but I did wait until very late on Thursday, before the 4S hit the streets but hopefully after worst mania had died out. That was enough-though just barely. The process was slower than it should have been and I did have a scary moment when I saw the phone with no apps, but I was able to update the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 without incident. Based on the behavior that I observed, I'm convinced that the main issue here was excessive wait times causing timeouts. Sure ideally that should not happen. But ask yourselves this question: Are you willing to pay for Apple to have so much redundant server capacity that every user on all 7 continents (do iPhones work in Antarctica?) to upgrade their OS at once?

Bricking is NOT good and it's clear that while some folks merely needed a hard reset of computer of device, some truly got bricked. Even if this happened due to volume and not due to an inherent flaw in the OS or its install process, to the brickee it ain't funny. While it's inonvenient to have to go to an Apple store, Apple is immediately replacing all bricked devices with no questions asked. They are not playing the ostrich as they have occasionally done in the past. More you cannot ask at this point.

So get smarter next year. Meantime, get over this. If you don't like the Apple ecosystem there are at least two other viable ones to choose from. As Capt. says correctly all have their flaws. Pick one and have fun with it.
FarVision
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FarVision,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2011 | 1:08:43 PM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
You're right. Apple crapped the bed on this one. My phone was out of commission for over four hours, and as far as I can tell, Apple hasn't taken one single bit of heat for it. Apparently the Creative types will put up with a lot - and apparently that will drown out the Business types. I got over it, since I retried until it took the update - but then had to sync all apps back to the phone, taking another hour or so. The problem is, my Android updates on my HTC Inspire, work much worse - as in a complete bricking, with a WiFi OTA update, non rooted, stock phone. Twice. So I guess comparably the Apple products work better, but I do expect them to accept criticism!
FarVision
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FarVision,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2011 | 1:03:49 PM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
I managed to pick it up a while back for the 4. It runs OK but can't Retrieve Information From The Server. Retry Retry Retry ad naseum. Looks like they axed it. Not enough for me to get a S...
NSIRI000
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NSIRI000,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/14/2011 | 12:58:17 AM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
They pulled the free siri app! It's now only available for the 4S.
I hope they reconsider, it is a real game changer...
Otherwise this update has been sweet for me.
cxf
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cxf,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 4:38:13 PM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
I recently updated my HTC Surround to WP7 7.5. NO issues.
ThePrisoner6
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ThePrisoner6,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 3:02:43 PM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
This just goes to show that, as is true with any high-traffic situation in the real or virtual world, when traffic is high, accidents happen. I'll bet everyone who waits until a day or two later will not be reporting as many issues. It's just a bit of common sense, but maybe it's not the best time to download the new iOS when everyone else on the planet is doing the same thing. Sometimes, it's better to avoid the mad rush and come in second or third. Patience is still a virtue worth cultivating in our society.
Squirrel333
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Squirrel333,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 8:45:54 AM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
Sorry to burst your bubble Taker27 but today's IOS5 Upgrade did in fact brick my iPhone 4, I can not do anything with it, as an iPhone app developer it was truly a brick.

Upon contacting Apple they are sending me a replacement phone as it could not be unbricked, it was locked in recovery mode and would not recover.

There are also reports in the USA that Apple Genius Bar Staff have also bricked iPhones and have to give customers new iPhones as they can not be unbricked.
GasPath2
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GasPath2,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 8:25:16 AM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
My Ipad is not bricked. But it is not usable either. It backed itself up, then took 75% or so of the upgrade and then stalled. I saw the Ipad reboot, then Itunes came up saying that an Ipad was on the system and needed to be restored. I started the restore. At 75% it came up and said it couldn't restore because it could not contact the Apple servers. I pulled it off and forced the Ipad to reboot thinking it would come back to version 4.3. But it didn't. Came back up looking to restore. I plugged it back in and the process started all over again. Did exactly the same thing it did first time. After about 5 of these identical attempts, it sits waiting to restore unable to contact the Apple Servers. Wonder if it will remain dead for long? This is the first time I have ever taking an upgrade on day one. I usually wait for one or two weeks. Should have followed my gut. Well, I suppose I can return it under warranty if I can't get it usable.
ANON1237837896902
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ANON1237837896902,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 5:18:25 AM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
Well I hate people like you who think they know everything and just sit waiting for anything to bitch about when it comes to Apple. I think you protest too much!. The 3004 error the author mentions is a server busy error (shocker! Apples servers are being overwhelmed by requests). Most users will try any number of misc things and in the end, just trying again will fix their problems. That's not to say that a failure couldn't happen in the wrong spot and a phone has bigger issues (most of which can be fixed with a hard reset but not all).

What the "sheep" are doing is countering the assertion that this upgrade is some sort of a nightmare! We are 5 successes and 0 failures here, which doesn't mean there are no problems but it is too early to know how bad (or minor) the problems are at this time.

As for your need to individualize your hardware, we call that the JailBreaking community in the iOS circles and you are welcome to it. As for all phones looking allike? Well, that is just the way it is. Apple came out with the next generation design for phones (large screen, minimal buttons, touch enabled, proximity sensors, motion sensors....etc. And everyone else has copied it with only minor variations. You want a phone will very little built in ram and the ability to swap out 32GB chips? Ok, I like the option to simply have 64GB of internal storage. You want to carry two batteries, I'd just like the built in one to last longer.

Think what you want but iPhone is not popular because of Hype or fad. Things that are over Hyped do not have 90+% satisfaction and loyalty rates. Give credit where credit is due. The iPhone 4s is an industry leading phone in nearly every respect, just as the iPhone 4 was before it.

My prediction is that by tomorrow virtually all of the problems (what I assume was a small percentage of users) will be gone and this article and my comments will be for not.
Jane55
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Jane55,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/13/2011 | 3:27:46 AM
re: iOS 5 Launch Becomes Update Disaster
ok something is happening i am getting error now on iTunes when i click on update i think its going live soon.
Can't wait! And hope all the apps can work fine on it, though some apps such as iFunia when I got have already updated to Lion compatible.
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