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Why Apple hasn’t responded to your bug report

I know Apple gets a lot of bug reports (i.e. RADARs, for Apple's internal name for the system). But I didn't realize just how many until I filed a minor flurry of reports over the last day and a half. OK, a minor flurry is four. For me, though, that's a lot. The time gap between the first and the last was 36.87 hours. The gap in RADAR numbers across those hours was 31,222—and that struck me as a huge number of bug reports.

That got me wondering if the numbers were actually sequential, so I asked Twitter. I received a single reply, but that reply confirmed that yes, they are sequential. Based on that, I could do math on my RADARs and find an average, then try to extrapolate. But there's a much better data source: Open Radar.

Open Radar is a site where users can republish the RADARs they've filed with Apple. Not everyone does so, of course, but that doesn't matter, because each one includes the original RADAR number. So I went back and found RADAR 19363080 from January 1st, 2015, and RADAR 23519997 from November 12th, 2015.

Do the math on those RADAR numbers ... 23,519,997 - 19,363,080 ...

4,156,917 bug reports so far in 2015

Wow. If that run rate continues for the remainder of the year, they'll finish with 4,811,865 bug reports! That number is so big as to be unimaginable, so here it is in some smaller units:

  • 551 per hour
  • 13,219 per day
  • 92,536 per week
  • 400,989 per month
  • 4,811,865 per year

That's an insane volume of actual submitted bug reports. How insane? If each bug report can be handled in just five minutes (very unrealistic), you'd need over 200 full-time bug report workers just to handle all the bug reports for one year! (I know: automated systems, duplicates, etc. But still...)

So if you're wondering why Apple hasn't replied to your bug report, it's probably because there are a few hundred thousand—or more—bug reports ahead of yours in the queue.