The next versions of Apple's OS X and iOS operating systems could deliver a significant boost to worldwide IPv6 traffic.
In a post to the IETF's IPv6 Operations mailing list, David Schinazi, a member of Apple's CoreOS Networking team, said that the public seeds of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, released last week, include a new implementation of Happy Eyeballs — an algorithm developed for use in dual-stack IPv4-IPv6 applications.
The new Happy Eyeballs implementation is biased further towards IPv6 connections over IPv4, Schinazi wrote in his post to the email list.
"Based on our testing, this makes our Happy Eyeballs implementation go from roughly 50/50 IPv4/IPv6 in iOS 8 and Yosemite to ~99% IPv6 in iOS 9 and El Capitan betas," Schinazi wrote.
"While our previous implementation from four years ago was designed to select the connection with lowest latency no matter what, we agree that the Internet has changed since then and reports indicate that biasing towards IPv6 is now beneficial for our customers: IPv6 is now mainstream instead of being an exception, there are less broken IPv6 tunnels, IPv4 carrier-grade NATs are increasing in numbers, and throughput may even be better on average over IPv6."
Schinazi said that if the new behaviour proves successful during the iOS and OS X betas, "you should expect more IPv6 traffic from Apple products in the future".
In the US, ARIN has almost no IPv4 address space left to allocate to organisations.
Its public tally shows five /23 blocks and 407 /24 blocks remaining. However, that tally does not include its pipeline of address requests.
(ARIN is withholding a /10, but IPv4 addresses from it will only available to help with IPv6 deployment.)
In Asia and the Pacific, APNIC in 2011 decided to withhold an /8 and the organisation has been doling out IPv4 addresses from it ever since then.
The latest IPv6 statistics from Google show that on 10 July, 6.8 per cent of traffic to the company's services was over IPv6.