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iWas there: 5 years of iPhone launches (pictures)

With the release of iPhone 5, we look back at iPhone launches past, including all the tired but dedicated line-waiters.

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James Martin
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1 of 21 James Martin/CNET

San Francisco, June 2007

It's that time again: another iPhone comes our way. After five years, the hype hasn't died down. In fact, it's only gotten stronger. CNET looks back at the anticipation Apple has built, and those who queued up hours -- and even days -- to get the newest iPhone.
Here, hundreds of people jam Stockton Street outside the Apple store in downtown San Francisco on Friday, June 29, 2007, as they await entry and purchase of the first iPhone.
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2 of 21 James Martin/CNET

'iPhone World Premiere tonight at 6 p.m.'

The Apple store in San Francisco shut its doors at noon on Friday, June 29, 2007 in preparation for the launch of the first iPhone at 6 p.m that evening. Employees could be seen scrambling around inside, applying decals to the window that read "iPhone World Premiere Tonight at 6 p.m."
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3 of 21 James Martin/CNET

The 2007 launch

It's a frenzy as the doors to San Francisco's downtown Apple store open on the evening of June 29, 2007, to let eager iPhone shoppers in.
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4 of 21 James Martin/CNET

iWas there

For some, June 29, 2007, will be remembered as a significant day.
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5 of 21 James Martin/CNET

iPhone 3G buyers line up

In July 2008, iPhone 3G buyers line up outside the Apple store on Stockton Street in San Francisco. Same place, one phone version later.
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6 of 21 James Martin/CNET

The iPhone 3GS goes on sale

Then, in July 2009, also on a Friday morning, the iPhone 3GS went on sale across the United States, and CNET News' team was once again on the scene at Apple and AT&T stores in Manhattan and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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7 of 21 Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Marketers show up to the 3GS launch

Marketers took advantage of the iPhone 3GS launch at a New York Apple store. This representative from an electronics recycling site called YouRenew.com is sports a very impressive iPhone costume.
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8 of 21 James Martin/CNET

Unlocking the door

At 7:02 a.m., an employee unlocks the door to the downtown San Francisco Apple store to sell the new iPhone 3GS in 2009.
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9 of 21 James Martin/CNET

First in line for 3GS

Adam Jackson, who was the first in line at the downtown San Francisco Apple store, walks inside to claim his new iPhone 3GS.
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10 of 21 James Martin/CNET

The much-anticipated iPhone 4

Then, on June 25, 2010, came the launch of the iPhone 4. Here's the scene early that Thursday morning outside the Apple store in downtown San Francisco.
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11 of 21 James Martin/CNET

First for an iPhone 4

The media quickly swarms this man, who was first to walk out of the Apple store in San Francisco with an iPhone 4.
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12 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

Readying the troops

Apple had more staff on hand than there were customers for the Verizon iPhone 4 on launch day.
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13 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon iPhone 4 launch

The Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City the morning of the Verizon iPhone 4 launch.
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14 of 21 James Martin/CNET

Selling spot #12

An entrepreneurial iPhone 4 line waiter outside Apple's downtown San Francisco store.
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15 of 21

4S launch, October 2011

Next came the launch of the iPhone 4S in October 2011. Here's a scene from a downtown Manhattan Apple store.
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16 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

Crowds on Fifth Avenue

Waiting in line at the Fifth Avenue Apple store in Manhattan are a few very tired folks on that morning in 2011.
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17 of 21 James Martin/CNET

Coffee and donuts

A decent line formed for the 4S outside the Apple store in Emeryville, Calif.
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18 of 21 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone launches: a rousing good time

Apple loves to create fanfare for its launches by having employees line up and cheer on customers. Here, another shot of the iPhone 4S launch.
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19 of 21 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Crowd waiting outside the Paris

This section of the crowd waiting outside an Apple store in Paris had to get in line for their spots in the queue for the 4S.
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20 of 21 Stephen Shankland/CNET

iPhone 4S purchasers pass Jobs tribute

iPhone 4S purchasers filed past a tribute to Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder and chief executive who had died just the week before the launch. One Post-it note bore the word "iSad."
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21 of 21 Joe Hanlon/CNET Australia

Lining up down under

The crowd at the Apple flagship store in Sydney, Australia, prior to the iPhone 5's debut Friday.

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