iOS 7 download problems? Join the crowd.

Apple's new iOS 7 experienced a rocky roll-out this week.

By Matthew Shaer, Amelia Pak-Harvey, Contributor / September 19, 2013

Tell us if this sounds familiar: After much wrangling, you manage to download the iOS 7 software for your phone or tablet. But when it comes time to actually activating the new operating system, Apple's servers are suddenly very unresponsive, and you spend the next six hours futilely clicking the 'try again' button, all while cursing your rotten luck. It happened to us. (Granted, by 11 p.m., we finally had iOS 7 up and running.)

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It also happened to plenty of other users, who this week flooded Apple forums with multitudinous complaints of non-working iPhones and iPads.

'I personally don't think Apple cares one way or the other,' one user wrote on the MacRumors forum, summing up the sentiment of a legion of frazzled Apple fans. 'If your network can't handle it then why should they care? Eventually everyone will get the update. This is why I always wait until the next day or a few days later. There's no point in dealing with that massive frustration.'

Over at the Washington Post, Timothy B. Lee says the delays should no longer surprise us.

'Running network services has never been one of the Cupertino company's strong suits,' he writes. 'Two years ago, Apple experienced similar problems when users rushed to download iOS 5. But the problems go back much farther than that. For more than a decade, Apple has struggled to build a robust suite of cloud computing services. Those services have been plagued by slow performance, outages, and strange glitches.'

For what it's worth, Apple's servers seem to be dealing better with the strain on Thursday. But things are still churning pretty slowly in Apple server-land. Our advice: Unless you absolutely must have iOS 7, wait a couple days for Cupertino to get things back up to optimal speed.

Waiting in line Wednesday at the Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston, David Zuber, a tourist from Solothurn, Switzerland, said he was looking forward to downloading the new iOS 7. But not right away - 'everyone's downloading it now,' he says.


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