Apple’s iOS 6 Causes Massive Traffic Spike, Signals High Early Adoption Despite Maps Issues

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Apple’s power to drive downloads cannot be underestimated, as a new report from Sandvine’s Better Broadband Blog (via The Loop) notes. Yesterday, Apple released iOS 6, as well as an update for OS X and just about every first-party app it offers on iOS, and a bunch of the ones it makes for the Mac, too. The spike began when Apple released iOS 6, and actually grew throughout the day as people on both coasts got home from work and went about installing the update.

The total size of the combined updates was well over 2GB spread across all products, representing a significant amount of data when counted across the mass of iPhone and Mac users around the world. Traffic levels were pushed to over 9 times their average levels, according to the Better Broadband Blog, which is good news for developers and Apple, since it means there’s already likely a high rate of early adoption for the iOS 6 update. Apple’s users are known for their prompt update policies, and Mountain Lion’s initial release in June caused a similar spike. iOS 5.1 also had really high adoption rates, with as many as 61% installing it just 15 days after its release.

This is why Apple needs massive server farms, in case anyone was wondering, in addition to actual cloud-based services like iTunes Match and iCloud. This also means that Maps issues aside, it looks like plenty of people will be without Google’s product for the foreseeable future, since there are no easy way of reverting to past versions of iOS.