June 29, 2007 At 5 a.m., two days before the first iPhone went on sale a decade ago this week, a line began forming outside the Apple store in Walnut Creek, Calif., in a scene that was repeated across the country. In Maryland, an engineer from Rockville determined to get one told The Washington Post’s Kim Hart that he was willing to pay his teenage neighbor $500 to stand in line for him while he was at work. A cancer researcher from San Francisco even offered to release noxious fumes, piercing sounds or wild animals — for a fee of course — as part of a “multi-pronged approach to getting people out of line” so that his clients could improve their chances of scoring what some were calling an “iPod cell phone.” Since then, Apple has sold a billion iPhones, inspired a Joaquin Phoenix movie about a man who falls in love with his Siri-like virtual assistant and helped simplify the search for love to a swipe of a finger. In July, Apple CEO Tim Cook declared that the iPhone had become “one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history.”
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