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Amazon is having checkout problems on Prime Day, one of its biggest days of the year

Maybe you can play Pokémon Go while they get things working.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference Asa Mathat
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Today is Prime Day, which is a day that didn’t exist until last year, when Amazon created it as a promotional event for its Amazon Prime service. The big idea is that Amazon Prime members can buy lots of stuff at a special discount; the really big idea is that Amazon owns several days of a slow summer news cycle.

Last year, one of the stories about Prime Day was that Amazon wasn’t prepared for all the demand the event would generate. Prime Day became bigger for Amazon than Black Friday, but it had trouble keeping up with the orders.

This year, Amazon promised, would be different.

And yet!

More background here from the Washington Post (which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as you know).

If you were cynical, you might note that Amazon has a history of underestimating demand, which leads to stories about high demand, which presumably creates more demand.

But that would be very cynical.

Speaking of which: Where is the Pokémon Go angle here?

Got it! Pokémon Go is only available in the U.S. and a few other countries — because, the game’s developer says, it needs to stagger its international rollout in order to make sure its infrastructure can keep up with demand.

But Prime Day is available in nine other countries outside the U.S., from the U.K. to Japan.

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