Apple fans are adopting iOS 7 at enough of a clip to jam up Web traffic.
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Apple released iOS 7 on Sept. 18. Only nine days later, adoption of the new operating system is estimated to be a whopping 60%. So many people downloaded and installed the new operating system that network traffic was snarled across the Web.
Analytics company Mixpanel has been charting iOS 7's presence on the Web since the OS debuted. Its data showed the adoption rate of iOS 7 had surpassed 50% within five days of release. Though the rate has tapered off a bit, adoption of the platform breached 60% this week.
Mixpanel's numbers appear to be confirmed by those from another analytics company, Fiksu. It sampled data from millions of iPhones using Fiksu client apps and tracked usage of iOS 5, 6 and 7. Fiksu's data also shows that iOS 7 reached 50% adoption within five days and now stands at about 60%. Fiksu's data is a bit more informative, as it shows how quickly the platform jumped on the first day it was available, and then a cyclical series of updates on each consecutive day.
iOS 7 represents a significant transition for Apple. The operating system was completely redesigned from the ground up to be more modern. It changed entirely the look and feel of the OS thanks to new colors, a flatter design, changed fonts/icons and more white space. The effect is refreshing to those who may have soured on iOS's unchanged appearance from 2007 until now. The operating system also adds hundreds of new features.
The pace of iOS 7 adoption took a toll on Internet providers. Blue Coat, a Web security firm, blamed iOS 7 for a "major traffic jam" across the Web.
"Based on our data from appliances deployed around the world, in the five days following the release of the iOS update, customers saw a 265% increase in Apple.com traffic compared to the five days before," said Blue Coat's Jeff Brainard. "For customers who typically saw Apple.com account for less than 4% of their traffic, the number tripled to more than 13% on average. In at least one case, Apple.com traffic skyrocketed to over 32% of total Web traffic."
The traffic spike should be raising the eyebrows of those who manage networks. When an installed base of 600 million users is motivated to download files ranging between 750 MB and 1 GB, there's a ripe possibility for trouble.