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iPhone 5th anniversary: I stood in line all day for an iPhone and I also got this lousy t-shirt

Five years ago today, on June 29, 2007, I spent the entire day sitting in front of the Aspen Grove Apple Store in Littleton, Colorado. My mission? To be one of the first people to own an iPhone. I got the iPhone, and also a little souvenir that fortuitously appeared in my dresser this morning.

I remember getting to the store shortly after 7 AM and being surprised by the length of the line already. About eighty people had made it into the line ahead of me, so not knowing what Apple's plans were for the new device, I was worried that I wasn't going to get one. I had my trusty Palm Treo 680 with me, and my major concern was that I was going to have to shut down my T-Mobile service.

It was hot in the morning, as the front of the store faces east and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Many of us in line became friends as the day wore on, holding places while people skipped away to get food and beverages, go to the bathroom, or just alleviate boredom by going somewhere else.

Looking back, Apple wasn't very prepared. Unlike today, when an iPhone line usually means that you're going to get a few free bottles of water and/or a muffin, I don't believe they handed out anything. However, there was a company (FastMac) that apparently saw something in this phone that Apple was creating, and they were handing out the t-shirts you see in the image above.

I didn't even remember having that t-shirt, and by some quirk of fate it bubbled up from the depths of a drawer this morning, so I'm wearing it honor of that long, hot day. Did I also get an iPhone? Yes, but 6/29/07 was also the day that another Steve Jobs product -- Pixar's Ratatouille -- came out, and since we had to go stand in line at the theater for that movie, I didn't get to activate my iPhone until the next day. That actually ended up being a blessing in disguise, since Apple and AT&T had some real problems for the first few days getting phones activated.

I'm now on my sixth iPhone -- each generation, plus a second iPhone 3GS to replace one that I lost -- and they keep getting lighter, slimmer, and more powerful. I wish I could say the same about myself, as this t-shirt seems a bit tighter than it did five years ago...

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