Well, actually, by announcing the release date they are telling you when the first people who ordered will receive their phones. It's always worked that way. For me no confusion at all. The one thing that is different this year from all years past is that the preorders start at 5am PDT. In the past they always started at 12amPDT (3amEDT). So this year Eastern timezone folks don't have to get up in the middle of the night to order. Nice and leisurely at 8am, and that's a welcome change.