It's hard to believe that six years ago today -- June 29, 2007 -- was the first time that anyone other than Steve Jobs and a handful of Apple employees got their hands on an iPhone. I asked my fellow TUAW bloggers to join me with what they remember about that special day, and here's the result:
In 2007, I wasn't yet writing for TUAW. I had my own blog at the time called "The iPhone Ranch" that I had started up a couple of weeks before. So on launch day, I woke up really early and drove four miles over to the Aspen Grove Apple Store in Littleton, CO where I found that I was about the fortieth person in line. The line kept growing on that hot day -- I think there were several hundred people by the the time the doors opened.
I caught video with my camcorder that day (before the good video from the iPhone showed up) and caught the excitement -- and the excruciating boredom of waiting outside in the heat all day. It's interesting to see how different Apple Stores were back in the day. Here's the video:
In June 2007, I was expecting our sixth child, and a new iPhone was not on my priority list. I was intrigued by it no doubt, but I was a Verizon Wireless customer and the iPhone was AT&T only. AT&T didn't have coverage in my area and wouldn't let me sign up for service. I watched from the sidelines as the world bought the iPhone and raved about it. I was still on Windows Mobile and dying inside every minute.
A few months later, I eventually relented and bought the iPhone by driving across state borders to an area that had service. Sadly, I had to return the iPhone because a phone isn't much of a phone if you can't make calls. I bought an iPod touch instead, but it wasn't the same. I tried the iPhone again with the 3GS and still no coverage. I finally joined the iPhone revolution in full when Verizon got the iPhone 4. I stayed up until 3 AM to pre-order it online and haven't looked back since.
I lived in Chicago back in 2007, and as an editor on TUAW, I was out covering the iPhone's launch. I put a gallery together of the launch at the Michigan Ave. Apple Store, and I took video of the launch at both that store and the State Street location. I also rounded up a series of reports from all over the country, with people waiting in line and picking up their brand new "magical" iPhones.
I didn't buy an iPhone myself on launch day, though. My purchase came a month or so later, I believe. And I've since moved on, skipping every other generation, to an iPhone 4, and now a 5. I've never preordered an iPhone -- I've always just waited a week or two and purchased it in the store without a problem. But who knows? Maybe the next iteration is the one that will get me to jump on it right away.
Family was visiting that weekend, so I couldn't get out until, if memory serves, Sunday. I called up the local store, found out a truck had just arrived -- hopped over, bought a phone, and was out of there in minutes. What followed, trying to get it activated through AT&T on was a bit of a nightmare, but the actual purchase was just fine. I spent an entire day waiting as the (kind) AT&T people attempted to get the phone going. Eventually it worked, and the world became something new, wonderful, and exciting. A brave new frontier of mobile computing had just opened up.
Victor Agreda Jr.
After plumbing the depths of my Gmail, I remember! I went to the Knoxville Apple Store in the mall and wrote this up:
My brother got one (not me), and later that day I went to his apartment and took some pics of it. Pretty boring. I had a corporate BlackBerry and no money to afford one, let alone "go AT&T" haha.
My Verizon zinger has surely stood the test of time.
I was still using a flip phone and was making fun of my friends for thinking they needed to spend over 400 dollars on a phone.
No great story here. I think I followed along on a liveblog, because I'd made some (in hindsight quite accurate) guesses and I wanted to see how on the money I was. I was stuck in a contract on a (bloody awful) Windows phone at the time, and in the end I waited out the first iPhone entirely and skipped straight to the 3G. The iPhone 1 didn't launch in the UK for some prolonged amount of time anyway -- six months or so, I think.
I was at work, at PR Newswire in Cleveland. I wasn't the least bit interested in the iPhone at the time. I knew I'd be moving to New Zealand the next year, so committing to (and then breaking) a two-year contract with AT&T (barf) wasn't going to happen.
The price also turned me off. "$600 for a phone?! That's more than a PlayStation 3 costs, and the PS3 does way more." This statement has, of course, become utterly ridiculous in hindsight; I have spent north of NZ$1000 on an iPhone three times now (will be four when the next one comes out), and my PS3 is dead from its third "yellow light of death" failure and sitting in a closet.
Alas, my iPhone story isn't terribly exciting. Stuck on Sprint at the time, and like Chris, intimidated by the unsubsidized pricetag, I wasn't able to pick up an iPhone on launch day.
I did, however, trek down to the downtown Apple store in Chicago where I waited in line (inside the store) to finally get my hands on this magical device. I remember being particularly impressed with the weather app (swipe to the left.. a whole new city!)
Ah, times were simpler back then :)
I was being briefed by Apple and being told I would need to be in AT&T's flagship store in Chicago for the launch. I have pics of the lines from launch day while I'm safely in the store playing with the iPhone.
Best part of that day was explaining to the Chicago White Sox owner that I didn't care who he was, I couldn't hold a phone for him; he needed to stand in line like everyone else.
I'm not sure I remember... but I do know that during the Macworld keynote I was on the phone with Laurie Duncan, who was standing outside the Moscone auditorium watching on a repeater monitor. "iPhone -- they're calling it iPhone," she said, but I could barely hear her over the roar.