Ina Fried

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Pre-Ordering iPhone 5 Proves Vexing for Some

While some who stayed up late to order the iPhone 5 did so in just a few minutes, others reported delays both via Apple’s online store and carrier Web sites.

Pre-orders were set to start just after midnight Pacific Time, following Apple’s announcement of the new phone on Wednesday. The phone is set to hit retail stores on Sept. 21.

Some of the most consistent reports of success came from those using the iPhone App on the iPhone itself. (Personally, I was able to order doing this, after failing to navigate the order process via either the AT&T or Apple Web sites.)

Others, such as tech writer Danny Sullivan, claimed they received a message via the Apple online store saying that the company was having trouble connecting to carrier servers to process orders. Instead, Apple would reserve a phone for those who logged in to their Apple accounts, and email those users later when the company was able to reconnect with carrier servers.

Verizon Wireless — the only carrier that seemed to stand up reasonably well to the rush of preorders — took the time to capitalize on some of the site problems that its competitors were having. As irate AT&T and Sprint customers swore to jump ship out of frustration, Verizon’s customer support Twitter account welcomed the angry users with open arms:

“Come on over, glad to have you!” one Verizon tweet read.

A bummer for eager Apple fans? Perhaps. But it’s not worth losing any more sleep over it.

Mike Isaac contributed reporting.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald