It was the live event that killed the Internet.
Well, that may be an exaggeration, but Apple's iPhone event Tuesday morning seems to have taken a serious toll. Across the Web, tech news sites were lined up (literally, in the sense of reporters queuing at Apple's headquarters, and figuratively) to live-blog the event.
Yet, as hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people logged into sites like CNET News, Engadget, Mashable, All Things Digital, and others, news from the event was hard to come by.
CNET's live coverage was down from the beginning. Mashable's sputtered at the beginning but then picked up. Engadget's live blog was sometimes up and sometimes down. AllThingsD and Gdgt seemed to be stable throughout, though even they may have had some problems just before the event, held at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., began.
For editors and reporters at these sites, this has been an incredibly frustrating morning. For readers eager to find out about Apple's newest technologies, it has most likely been doubly so.
But it's hardly a surprise. Interest in whatever new device or devices Apple plans on releasing is huge, perhaps unprecedented in tech annals, and the strain on sites' servers has been enormous. And as a result, sites have gone down.
Here at CNET, reporters who were tasked with following the Apple event have been essentially channel-surfing from site to site, trying to find one that worked. At 10:37 a.m. PT, Gizmodo's site refreshed with the statement, "Sorry, we had some problems. =(" And Engadget's live blog has been intermittently working and then returning "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable." For our part, CNET News has mostly been down, though our live blog did come back up for some people--mainly those who never closed their browser window--around 10:30 a.m. PDT.
One would think that the services that power live blogs, such as Cover It Live, would be up to the task of handling huge traffic, especially after so many years of big product launches. Yet it's possible that no one anticipated just how many people would want to know about a potential iPhone 5.
For all of you interested in finding out about the new device, we join in your thirst for information. Even as we bang our heads against the wall in frustration. As a guest commenter on our live blog put it, "it's like a war zone on the Internet right now."
For all the problems, CNET's intrepid team of reporters in Cupertino are still doing their best to bring you the news. But if you're not able to get into our live blog, you can hop on over to Buzz Out Loud, where Molly Wood and Brian Tong are working hard to update you with all the latest.