The Apple iOS 5 update dropped today and Apple was not ready for the demand. As of this writing, there have been no confirmed reports of any successful updates by the tech media or users based on reports and Apple discussion groups. Apple has admitted that the installation problems are on Apple's side, and the consensus is that the iCloud servers are simply unable to completely process and verify the installation process. This does not bode well for either the estimated three million iPhone 4S devices that will be seeking communion with iCloud to get activated (and in all likelihood need software updates) or the inauguration of the Apple iCloud music service at the end of the month.
Apple has put a lot of time, treasure and credibility into the iCloud initiative. Apple envisions iCloud as follows:
"This is the cloud the way it should be: automatic and effortless. iCloud is seamlessly integrated into your apps, so you can access your content on all your devices." In order to fulfill this vision Apple has to be able to have the content accessible on demand and to accomplish that, they created a huge server farm in the state of North Carolina in the United States, spending over a billion dollars USD according to some estimates.
In order for a user to take advantage of iCloud, they have to have a iPhone or iPad that can run iOS5, and or a Mac that can be updated to Lion. iCloud will also work with Windows machines running Vista or better. While Apple does not disclose precise sales numbers it is safe to assume that Apple knows how many iCloud capable products the company has sold and could forecast demand accordingly. Apparently not.
Users are also reporting that after aborting the iOS 5 installaton, they are finding duplicated contacts and problems configuring mail on their macs, often getting error screens such as this:
Right now the best thing users can do is wait for the servers to catch up, unless you want to while away the time cleaning up your contacts list.