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iOS 7 web traffic rises as WWDC approaches

As Apple gears up for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month, more evidence of iOS 7 is showing up in the wild, an update to its mobile OS that's expected to debut at the show.

Several sites have reported seeing major spikes in traffic from devices running iOS 7 in recent days. Though the next-generation mobile operating system is not yet available to the masses, Apple news site MacRumors on Wednesday said it has noticed a "significant surge" in iOS 7 traffic to its site since last week. The hits are reportedly originating from Apple's own block of IP addresses, hinting that Cupertino is more aggressively testing the platform ahead of WWDC.

In addition, mobile publishing company Onswipe has also seen an increase in iOS 7 traffic emanating from San Francisco and Cupertino over the past week, TechCrunch reported on Wednesday. According to the report, iOS 7 traffic to Onswipe's partner sites peaked on 2 May when 23 per cent of all unique iOS visitors were running the newest version of iOS. Most of the traffic came from iPhones, though iPads represented a quarter of the visits.

iOS 7 Web traffic first cropped up in January when developers noticed mentions of iOS 7 in app usage logs.

The fact that Apple is testing a new mobile OS should not come as a huge surprise. Apple first showed off iOS 6 at WWDC last June and released it shortly before the arrival of the iPhone 5 on 19 September. If Apple expects to show off iOS 7 at this year's WWDC and release a new iPhone in autumn, one would expect that it would already be testing it.

Meanwhile, server logs last year provided evidence of an iPad with a Retina display and iPad models running iOS 6 — both of which came true.

As for what iOS 7 will entail, rumours suggest a redesigned user interface but similar functionality to iOS 6.