The launch of Apple’s latest operating system caused a bandwidth traffic jam as users stampeded to download iOS 7, according to Blue Coat.
In the five days following the release of the iOS 7 customers saw a 265 per cent increase in Apple.com traffic, compared to the five days before. This caused significant disruption of bandwidth data patterns which in turn resulted in slower internet speeds.
The findings are based on the data collected by security software firm Blue Coat from appliances around the world.
As of June this year, Apple had sold 600 million devices, 93 per cent of which were running iOS 6.
The appetite of Apple customers for new software combined with the size of the file download pushed Apple’s servers to the limit.
For customers who typically saw Apple.com account for less than 4 per cent of their traffic, the number tripled to more than 13 per cent on average. In at least one case, Apple.com traffic skyrocketed to over 32 per cent of total web traffic.
During five days after the launch, iOS 7 downloads accounted for the second largest volume of traffic behind YouTube videos.
This caused an internet slowdown for all other users as other services were forced to compete for bandwidth.
The spike is difficult to plan for and as this trend continues the underpinnings of the web will continue to struggle, a spokesperson for Blue Coat said.
“The only thing that can disrupt this cycle of bandwidth and bust is a shock absorber that can embrace spikes caused by global events – like an iOS update or the Olympics – without forcing customers to continually expand capacity,” a spokesperson said.
“While the iOS 8 update is a year away, the World Cup is only a few months away. With sixty-four games to be played, you can bet customers around the world will see significant traffic spikes in June and July – unless their networks are prepared to absorb them.”
A Blue Coat spokesperson said caching was one way to handle the “bandwidth or bust” cycle.
“Blue Coat customers were able to achieve up to 99.1 per cent savings on bandwidth for Apple.com traffic when the latest iOS update hit last week,” a spokesperson said.
“The company has embedded this technology (ProxySG and CacheFlow) into products to help customers contend with the traffic spikes that have become a regular network event.”