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Verizon halts iPhone orders - for now

Verizon Wireless said Friday it has stopped taking orders for the iPhone until next week, after producing record sales on the first day of availability.

The cell phone carrier said that between 3 and 5 a.m. Thursday, more customers had ordered the phone than in the full day of any previous phone launch.

The company didn't specify how many devices had been ordered. It halted orders Thursday night and said it will resume taking orders at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

It's only taking orders from Verizon subscribers. The phone will be available in stores for the public next Thursday, but supplies are likely to be tight.

AT&T Inc. has so far been the exclusive U.S. carrier of Apple Inc.'s popular phone. It activated 15.2 million of them last year. Analyst estimates for Verizon iPhone sales this year vary widely, from 5 million to 13 million. Analysts expect the sales to Verizon subscribers will be strong, but the big question is how many iPhone buyers will be jumping ship from other carriers.

Meanwhile, Verizon revealed Thursday that it will slow traffic for heavy data users on unlimited plans if they're hogging the local cell tower. This applies only to subscribers signing up for a new data plan or renewing a contract.

Since the unlimited data plan is required for the iPhone, Verizon is reserving the right to throttle all iPhone traffic.

It also said it will conserve data capacity by recoding all online video requested by data subscribers. It said the effect on image quality should be minimal.

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