iPhone 5 preorders start 3 a.m. ET Friday

Following yesterday’s official announcement of the iPhone 5 along with an unspecified pre-order window to begin on Friday, carriers are confirming that pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin at 3 a.m. Eastern Time/12:00 midnight Pacific Time on Friday. The time was verified by both Sprint and Verizon, with AT&T likely to follow. All of the carriers and Apple will ship iPhone 5 hardware for deliveries starting on September 21. In addition to accepting online pre-orders through the online Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores will also open at 8:00 a.m. on September 21 to sell the device directly to customers.

Update: Walmart is offering the 16GB iPhone 5 for $190, and is also instituting its own pre-order system: Customers can pre-order an iPhone 5 starting at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14 with a $25 deposit and return to the same store for pickup on Sept. 21.

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