Five years ago today, at exactly 6 p.m. in each time zone, the original Apple iPhone went on sale in the United States. At the time I was outside the Apple store in downtown San Francisco witnessing tech history being made. And even though I've been to scores of other product launches since June 29, 2007, I can still recall the day vividly.
Editors' note: This story was originally published on June 29, 2011, but has been updated with the iPhone 4S.
The sidewalk in front of the Stockton Street store that evening was absolutely mobbed and a line of eager buyers stretched around the corner and out of sight. Indeed, as I was waiting to pick up our review model, I was nearly flattened against the store's glass wall when the enormous crowd began to surge toward the entrance.
Finally, as the magic hour struck and the doors opened, a line of applauding employees welcomed the first buyers. The line began to cheer "iPhone!, iPhone!" and a few minutes the first guy exited with his handset held high. I quickly sneaked inside to pick mine up and then hurried back to CNET's office with Donald Bell for a long night of writing the review (relive our review in real time!). Yet, that was after Brian Cooley got to take it out of the box on video. … Read more