Night owls that we are, my wife and I were watching a recorded The Daily Show episode as midnight approached yesterday. Her attention was on the TV. Mine was on my watch, as I waited for the hour to strike twelve, when preorders for the iPhone 5 were scheduled to begin.
I'd already decided that Verizon would replace AT&T, now that our two-year iPhone 4 contract had expired. The remaining challenge was to get my ordering underway as soon as possible given the obvious pent-up demand for an updated iPhone with a new digit after its name.
The iPhone 4S didn't appeal very strongly to me, being merely a 4 plus an added letter. But a 5, a freaking 5, now that was something to lust for -- especially since I could get new customer pricing from Verizon.
Everything went smoothly with the ordering... up to a point. Gizmodo's advice to get a black 32 GB iPhone 5 from Verizon made sense. So I didn't have to hesitate over the phone choices (white or black? 16, 32, or 64 GB?) Verizon was offering to me.
But at about 12:15 am I hit a glitch. I hadn't thought through the implications of wanting to keep our current cell phone numbers. I'd pictured myself being asked by the Verizon web site if I wanted to have the same numbers my wife and I have now, then typing in the numbers.
In reality, not. Because Verizon, reasonably enough, also wanted to know our AT&T account number. Since we have paperless autopay I didn't have a statement on hand. So I presciently had a sinking feeling: I need to log into our AT&T account; this isn't going to go well.
I guess my unconscious had recollected a memory of ordering an iPhone 4, also on "opening day," several years ago. AT&T's web site had frozen up under the pressure of a frenzied mass of Apple addicts, all wanting to be one of the first to get the new gadget.
Same thing happened last night. I got error messages when I first tried to open a page. Eventually I'd succeed in getting the AT&T web site's attention, but it was working glacially slow.
Over on another Chrome tab my half-completed Verizon order was waiting away. I wasn't sure how long Verizon would put up with the inactivity. Visions of iPhone 5's dancing away from increasingly empty Verizon warehouse shelves while I fussed around trying to get my AT&T account number danced through my head.
After about fifteen minutes AT&T's overloaded web site finally coughed up the information I needed. I then quickly clicked my way back to the Verizon order page, pleased to find both that my order was still intact and Verizon's own web site was operating absolutely normally.
Which, from what I've heard, pretty much sums up the difference between AT&T and Verizon: suckiness versus works-goodness.
Regardless, two iPhone 5's soon will be in the hands of me and my wife. Gloating by successful early orderers like me reportedly is commonplace.
Apple's website was down occasionally after midnight, as were the sites of some of its wireless carriers. Fans flooded Twitter and other social media sites with ordering advice, and also to gloat when they were able to successfully purchase the phone.
"iPhone 5 has been pre-ordered...boiling with excitement!" tweeted David Christensen, a Web designer in Los Angeles.
"Got my & the wife's iPhone 5's pre-ordered. Haters, you may proceed with your hating," wrote Shahin Ourian, a digital content creative strategist in L.A.
Dustin Pagliughi, a television producer who lives in the Miracle Mile district, said he woke up at midnight to pre-order a black 32GB iPhone 5. He used his iPhone 4 to make the purchase.
"It's one of those items that I've been waiting for them to announce, so I figured, why not?" the 32-year-old said. "I wanted to get it as fast as possible."
Being a mature 63-year old who has achieved an enlightened compassionate Buddha-nature (in his own mind at least, where it counts), there is not an iota of gloating in this blog post.
I'm merely sharing purely factual information about how I have two black 32 GB iPhone 5's on the way from Verizon, while other new iPhone fanciers are facing dwindling supplies due to the astoundingly high demand for Apple's newest must-have.
Time to relax. Briefly. Because now I've got to keep my eye out for the release of a 13 inch retina MacBook Pro. Rumor has it that it's shipping to retailers. I want one!
(That's how Apple operates: the addiction never ends; the dealer always has a new high for sale.)