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Apple issues internal high priority alert for iPhone activation server woes

post #1 of 72
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Apple has initiated an internal high priority alert to support staff indicating that activation server problems and other issues are preventing a large number of customers from activating their iPhones.

Status
iCloud system status. | Source: Apple


According to a reliable source, Apple has sent out an internal P1 (high priority) alert notifying employees of server issues that are preventing customers from activating their iPhones, whether the device is brand new or recently restored. Compounding the problem are "other internal issues," though the exact nature of these complications is unknown at this time.

Since iOS 7 launched on Wednesday, Apple's servers have been bombarded with a deluge of users looking to update to the latest operating system, with many finding the activation service unavailable or otherwise unresponsive.

The alert failed to offer the exact number of users affected and did not give an estimate as to how long the activation server would be down.

Apple's System Status webpage shows all services are up and running as of this writing, though AppleInsider has received numerous reports that appear to corroborate the backend problems.
post #2 of 72
A few years ago it was worse - Apple launched the new iOS and the new iPhone on the same day and everything came to a screeching halt. Hopefully this download surge will have subsided a bit by Friday to make room for iPhone 5s/c activations.

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post #3 of 72
For once I didn't have any issues. It took about 16 minutes for me this evening downloading thru iTunes. My downloads are capped at 10mb or so - otherwise I'm sure it could have been quicker.
post #4 of 72

No shit, sherlock. Anyone with an ounce of sense would wait, oh I dunno, maybe ONE DAY before updating, to avoid 99% of the traffic and potential issues? Otherwise, you have no right to complain. No, everyone needs iOS7 THIS SECOND, after waiting for months. You will live if you go another day with iOS6. 

post #5 of 72
I spoke with a support rep at Apple about 20 minutes ago about my activation issues after the iOS 7 update and she said the servers were overloaded - I just now got my phone activated after about 100 tries over the last 4 hours.
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

A few years ago it was worse - Apple launched the new iOS and the new iPhone on the same day and everything came to a screeching halt. Hopefully this download surge will have subsided a bit by Friday to make room for iPhone 5s/c activations.

 

I wonder what version of iOS 7 is on the phones since the GM was only released September 10 to developers. They must have some earlier build on those millions of 5c and 5s phones, so they will probably need to update their software as well as activate it.

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post #7 of 72
App updates appear to have been switched off for now. They show as updates available in iTunes but the download won't start. On my iPhone many updates were listed until I clicked update on one and the list updated/cleared to show no updates available (even though they are shown in iTunes).

I would say they are trying to give priority to iOS downloads and/or activations.

How many devices can take the upgrade? Well in excess of 100 million right?
post #8 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder what version of iOS 7 is on the phones since the GM was only released September 10 to developers. They must have some earlier build on those millions of 5c and 5s phones, so they will probably need to update their software as well as activate it.
post #9 of 72

I want to update to iOS 7 just as much as the next guy, and knowing full well that the infrastructrue is simply overloaded (hence my 8th consecutive failure to update both iPhone and iPad) I'm a little frustrated, but it isn't anything of importance.

 

On the other hand, someone who just purchased a new device and want to activate it might be a little annoyed (and for good reason). Apple should just implement a priority system because, as was said above, we can all live to thrusday (even friday) with iOS 6, but if I had just bougth an iPhone I would want it to work just right away!!!

post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post

How many devices can take the upgrade? Well in excess of 100 million right?

But I imagine 90% of those iPhone owners don't even know that iOS 7 was released. 

 

Doesn't the settings app usually show a badge when there is an iOS update? I don't see one on my iPhone 5 but if I go to the software update tab it shows iOS 7 is available. Did Apple perhaps disable the badge so people wouldn't notice?

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post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

No shit, sherlock. Anyone with an ounce of sense would wait, oh I dunno, maybe ONE DAY before updating, to avoid 99% of the traffic and potential issues? Otherwise, you have no right to complain. No, everyone needs iOS7 THIS SECOND, after waiting for months. You will live if you go another day with iOS6. 

 

Not in the current pop culture of instant gratification. You should read some of the whining and ranting on the Apple discussions forum. Simply hilarious and a bit scary how some react to situations like this. Imagine what would happen if there were a real shortage of, say, sugar or wheat or some other staple. People would probably commit suicide over it.

post #12 of 72

Managed to update my iPhone 5 via iTunes ok, had problems with the iPad and ended up doing it successfully OTA, my iPhone 4 software has downloaded but my wife had to leave for work.

 

I'll take my MacBook to work with the iPhone 5 iOS 7 software already loaded and update anyone who needs it.

 

In around 23 hours I will be getting a 5S, passing down the 5 to my wife and loading the 4 up with music and plugging it into my car.

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post #13 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by StaceyMJ86 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder what version of iOS 7 is on the phones since the GM was only released September 10 to developers. They must have some earlier build on those millions of 5c and 5s phones, so they will probably need to update their software as well as activate it.

MR is reporting the latest iOS 7 build is 11A466 version 7.0.1. It was just released to fix bugs on 5c/s phones

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post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

 

I wonder what version of iOS 7 is on the phones since the GM was only released September 10 to developers. They must have some earlier build on those millions of 5c and 5s phones, so they will probably need to update their software as well as activate it.

 

The GM and final release are the same build. However, the iPhone 5s and 5c will most likely have different build.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

But I imagine 90% of those iPhone owners don't even know that iOS 7 was released. 

 

Doesn't the settings app usually show a badge when there is an iOS update? I don't see one on my iPhone 5 but if I go to the software update tab it shows iOS 7 is available. Did Apple perhaps disable the badge so people wouldn't notice?

 

The badge usually takes a while to show up. In the past, I remember it showing up only when I connect my phone overnight.

post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by agsweeney View Post

I spoke with a support rep at Apple about 20 minutes ago about my activation issues after the iOS 7 update and she said the servers were overloaded - I just now got my phone activated after about 100 tries over the last 4 hours.

Was there any particular reason you needed it today?

post #16 of 72
I swear its just the whiners that come out on message boards. MacRumors has all these people whining about iOS 7 when no one and nothing forced them to upgrade. The new UI has been all over the Internet these past couple months so its not like people don't know what they're downloading. At least the people that frequent sites like MacRumors. It's almost like they updated so they could bitch and complain about it. And another thing - this is an brand new UI redesigned in 7 months. Come back and see me 6 months from now or when iOS 8 is released and we have a more refined product. Apple never said this was the end, they said it was just the beginning.
post #17 of 72

I'll wait until the weekend to do this, and not OTA.

 

That said, what happened to all the fancy NC and NV data centers/server farms that Apple was building? And, when will Apple ever figure out that, with every iteration, their supply of bandwidth -- whether for ordering (except for the iPhone 5C) or for software downloads in the first 24 hours -- quite regularly falls short of demand?

post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

No shit, sherlock. Anyone with an ounce of sense would wait, oh I dunno, maybe ONE DAY before updating, to avoid 99% of the traffic and potential issues? Otherwise, you have no right to complain. No, everyone needs iOS7 THIS SECOND, after waiting for months. You will live if you go another day with iOS6. 

Give me a frickin' break, with your condescending crap.

 

Perhaps Apple should simply figure out a damn way to manage this better.

post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

But I imagine 90% of those iPhone owners don't even know that iOS 7 was released. 

 

Doesn't the settings app usually show a badge when there is an iOS update? I don't see one on my iPhone 5 but if I go to the software update tab it shows iOS 7 is available. Did Apple perhaps disable the badge so people wouldn't notice?

 

While this may still account for less than 10%, if you do a search on Twitter you can see that A LOT of people including non-techies were/are actually eagerly waiting to install iOS 7 (many thought it would somehow be available at midnight).

post #20 of 72
Just downloaded iOS7 via iTunes - only took me 10 minutes. I'm in the UK if that makes any difference... 1smile.gif
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

I'll wait until the weekend to do this, and not OTA.

 

That said, what happened to all the fancy NC and NV data centers/server farms that Apple was building? And, when will Apple ever figure out that, with every iteration, their supply of bandwidth -- whether for ordering (except for the iPhone 5C) or for software downloads in the first 24 hours -- quite regularly falls short of demand?

 

They know but it makes no financial sense to build out tons of infrastructure that is only going to get used to the peak limit one day a year. They could probably do a better job of limiting the number of simultaneous users allowed to download instead of showing an error.

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post #22 of 72
To those who are complaining that people should wait to upgrade, what business is it of yours if a person upgrades the day of or a year later? I see it as a very positive note that iPhone users are upgrading their phones when the updates are available and not waiting until forced for some reason. Do you pitch the same fit when android users have minor issues updating their phones when it is released for all their existing handsets at the same time? Oh wait..... 1smoking.gif
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post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
They could probably do a better job of limiting the number of simultaneous users allowed to download instead of showing an error.

That's all there is to it. They could, for instance, easily stagger it by geographic area of IP address looking to download and inform users that they will be doing so, with a rough map. I am sure there are dozens of more sophisticated, equally inexpensive ways.

 

Sometimes, I get the feeling that Apple simply does not do a good job of managing some basic stuff like this. 

post #24 of 72
I upgraded both my iPad and iPhone to iOS 7 today. I encountered the same error message that was referenced by other posters but eventually was able to complete. It took about 2 hours for each device. Last year, I updated to iOS 6 over the air and it took less than 20 minutes. No matter. What does concern me is the tendency of my iPad 3 to freeze up when I try to change wall papers. I never had this problem before with iOS 6.
post #25 of 72
Waaaaaa I can't upgrade my phone RIGHT NOW!

Waaaaaa I don't like the fonts!

Boo freaking hoo.

The only ones I feel badly for are the purchasers of a new iPhone who can't activate it. That sucks. You want to play with your new toy on the first day.

Actually, yeah! Waaaaaaaa!
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
They could probably do a better job of limiting the number of simultaneous users allowed to download instead of showing an error.

That's all there is to it. They could also easily stagger it by geographic area of IP address looking to download; I am sure there are dozens of more sophisticated, equally inexpensive ways.

 

Sometimes, I get the feeling that Apple simply does not do a good job of managing some basic stuff like this. 

 

I think they sometimes underestimate the demand for their products and resources. Who knows, maybe they doubled their capacity since last year and thought that would hold them? When you figure that every year they are doubling their install base of iOS devices, doubling the support resources is not enough.

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post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Analyst View Post

I upgraded both my iPad and iPhone to iOS 7 today. I encountered the same error message that was referenced by other posters but eventually was able to complete. It took about 2 hours for each device. Last year, I updated to iOS 6 over the air and it took less than 20 minutes. No matter. What does concern me is the tendency of my iPad 3 to freeze up when I try to change wall papers. I never had this problem before with iOS 6.
I'm not updating my iPad 3 yet. And if new iPads are announced within the next month I won't be updating it at all. I suspect we'll be seeing some point updates fairly quickly to address bugs.
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Analyst View Post

I upgraded both my iPad and iPhone to iOS 7 today. I encountered the same error message that was referenced by other posters but eventually was able to complete. It took about 2 hours for each device. Last year, I updated to iOS 6 over the air and it took less than 20 minutes. No matter. What does concern me is the tendency of my iPad 3 to freeze up when I try to change wall papers. I never had this problem before with iOS 6.
I'm not updating my iPad 3 yet. And if new iPads are announced within the next month I won't be updating it at all. I suspect we'll be seeing some point updates fairly quickly to address bugs.
post #29 of 72

I updated an iPad 3 and an iPad Mini today, a few minutes after iOS7 was released. Both updated fine without any problems. It took less than 15 minutes to update each one.

 

I'd never used iOS 7 before, so it's all new to me. Everything's looking nice so far, and I'm liking the extra features that were added.

post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

 

I think they sometimes underestimate the demand for their products and resources. Who knows, maybe they doubled their capacity since last year and thought that would hold them? When you figure that every year they are doubling their install base of iOS devices, doubling the support resources is not enough.

There will always be capacity constraints during peak service times. Think electrical grid at 2 PM on a July afternoon, Friday night cable bandwidth, airline overbooking, parking lots on a Monday morning...

 

That is not the issue. Intelligent management of situations like this is.

post #31 of 72

No kidding by his logic, he's telling everyone to wait a day.  Well if they all did that, then tomorrow would be the day the servers onverloaded.

 

I started the updated at noon PST and it began downloaded a 700+ file.  When finished (about 40 minutes) it said it could not connect to servers and to try later.  I set it on my desk and every few minutes retried.  It took about 10 tries before it worked and the installed the OS.

I'm liking all the little touches throughout the os and app.  I'm 53, wear glasses and find this interface a LOT easier to read.  Getting around photos is wonderful with it's Year<Collections<Moments path.  The Control Panel is a godsend and when you get a Messages notification on the lock screen and login, it opens Messages ready to reply.  So many great little things.

post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post


I'm not updating my iPad 3 yet. And if new iPads are announced within the next month I won't be updating it at all. I suspect we'll be seeing some point updates fairly quickly to address bugs.

 

Aside from the Wallpaper settings bugs, I haven't stumbled on any major bugs on my iPad 3 (been running the GM since the 10th). Sure it feels slower than on my iPhone 4S and there are some cosmetic bugs that I don't see on the iPhone, but nothing major. 

 
The only thing that really annoys me is the fact that they disabled the frosted glass effect on the iPad 3 build for most of the UI starting with beta 5. I wish they'll bring it back if they fix some of the performance issues.
 
BTW I'm not trying to convince you to update now, I'm simply saying that the bugs on the iPad build are not as bad as some made it seem.
post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

Aside from the Wallpaper settings bugs, I haven't stumbled on any major bugs on my iPad 3 (been running the GM since the 10th). Sure it feels slower than on my iPhone 4S and there are some cosmetic bugs that I don't see on the iPhone, but nothing major. 
 
The only thing that really annoys me is the fact that they disabled the frosted glass effect on the iPad 3 build for most of the UI starting with beta 5. I wish they'll bring it back if they fix some of the performance issues.
 
BTW I'm not trying to convince you to update now, I'm simply saying that the bugs on the iPad build are not as bad as some made it seem.
Good to know. But my 3rd gen iPad is really sluggish as is so I'm nervous putting iOS 7 on it. I can't wait to get a 5th gen iPad with A7. Of course when I tried to update iTunes on my PC I got the stupid blue screen of death. 1rolleyes.gif
post #34 of 72
I think a potential solution would have been to prevent app updates today. Many of us who have iOS 7 now are also likely using auto updates, and tons of updates are pushing our today. Could have put a 24 hour hold on that, perhaps
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahJ View Post

To those who are complaining that people should wait to upgrade, what business is it of yours if a person upgrades the day of or a year later? I see it as a very positive note that iPhone users are upgrading their phones when the updates are available and not waiting until forced for some reason. Do you pitch the same fit when android users have minor issues updating their phones when it is released for all their existing handsets at the same time? Oh wait..... 1smoking.gif

Lol! Perhaps this is the entire purpose for Google's fragmentation 'strategy' - no swamping the servers - lol!

 

 

post #36 of 72

Ah, to be all knowing, to revel in the joy of omniscience, to be able to mock others from a point of certainty, to be in tune with the infinite, to be closer to God that the unwashed, unaware, unknowing, un-un. Thank you for the great insight. You may now return to pulling the wings off of butterflies.

post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by starbird73 View Post

I think a potential solution would have been to prevent app updates today. Many of us who have iOS 7 now are also likely using auto updates, and tons of updates are pushing our today. Could have put a 24 hour hold on that, perhaps

Refer post #7

post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

No shit, sherlock. Anyone with an ounce of sense would wait, oh I dunno, maybe ONE DAY before updating, to avoid 99% of the traffic and potential issues? Otherwise, you have no right to complain. No, everyone needs iOS7 THIS SECOND, after waiting for months. You will live if you go another day with iOS6. 

Holmes, Doesn't hurt to try, I updated early afternoon with no issues
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

No shit, sherlock. Anyone with an ounce of sense would wait, oh I dunno, maybe ONE DAY before updating, to avoid 99% of the traffic and potential issues? 

 

This strategy assumes that most people don't have an ounce of sense. It wouldn't work if most people acted sensibly and all decided to download on day two instead of day one. To avoid this problem, either the users have to coordinate among themselves when to update, or Apple has to decide who gets updates when.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 9/18/13 at 6:44pm
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

There will always be capacity constraints during peak service times. Think electrical grid at 2 PM on a July afternoon, Friday night cable bandwidth, airline overbooking, parking lots on a Monday morning...

 

That is not the issue. Intelligent management of situations like this is.

I remember the first time they tried live streaming of an iPhone event, it crashed and burned. They don't do that anymore. Maybe this outage will make them rethink their strategy for next year. The Internet is not infallible. I agree with you about managing the resources though. I think a lot of people take things for granted such as the Internet, it is not limitless. Just look at how natural disasters catch people by surprise. All the carefully engineered drainage systems in Boulder Colorado could not handle the 100 year flash flood volume of water. Is it Apple's fault the servers croaked, sure, but how were they to know iOS 7 would be so popular?

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