©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
FORTUNE — Pre-orders for Apple’s (AAPL) new iPhone were supposed to begin Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific (3:01 a.m. Eastern), but things did not go quite as planned. The first problem was a traffic jam at Apple’s online store. At 12:01 the store’s servers were apparently so overwhelmed with would-be customers that many early risers (including this one) who tried to order online were greeted with the dreaded multilingual “We’ll be back” sign — a message that one frustrated user tweeted was like being told “screw you” in 10 different languages. Word quickly spread on Twitter that the iPhone’s Apple Store app was successfully taking iPhone 5 orders. That was true — to a degree. The app took my order, but it kept timing out at the sign-in stage. After entering and re-entering my password for nearly 10 minutes, I finally got through at 3:25 a.m. My iPhone 5 is scheduled to be delivered next Friday.