What time will Apple release iOS 5?

October 12, 2011

Many techies woke up this morning and plugged in their Apple gadgets, eagerly expecting to download the company’s slick new iOS 5 operating system.

Instead, they got nothing.

Apple announced an Oct. 12 release date for the next version of its mobile operating system, but has not been clear about when the update will hit its servers. Several Apple fans admitted on Twitter that, like kids on Christmas morning, they stayed up until midnight and beyond, waiting in vain for the update.

Now, some bloggers are speculating on a 1 p.m. release time.

The update will be a major test for Apple’s servers that will have to deliver the new software to approximately 200 million iPhones (from the new 4s to the older 3Gs), iPod Touches, and iPads which can run the latest operating system.

Apple will also have increased activity from another prominent launch today: iCloud, the suite of apps that the late Steve Jobs unveiled in June.

The iCloud Web site, which has been in a beta mode for a couple months, also opened up this morning — but with a catch. The service requires you to log in from a device running iOS 5 or the latest version of Mac OS X Lion — which also hasn’t been released yet. iCloud is free for all iOS 5 and Lion users for up to 5 GB of storage.

Apple is requiring users to update iTunes and dig out that white USB cord one last time to pick up iOS 5. After that, you can get out your scissors and cut that cord (at least figuratively). Apple is promising to push out future updates to iOS 5 over-the-air instead of downloading incremental improvements through iTunes.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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