I braved the mean streets of Chicago to bring you, dear readers, photographic proof that Apple did in fact launch the iPhone today. Around 5:00, I strolled up State Street (that great street, I just gotta say) to the AT&T Store near the Chicago Theatre, where the nearby television station was out in force. Then, I walked north, to the Michigan Avenue Apple store, where it was madness. The line curved all the way around the building, and there must have been ten or fifteen cameras, along with six or seven times that many onlookers standing in front of the store.
At 5:45 CST, the 50 or so Apple employees opened the door, and the line started rolling through. Seems like things moved fast, and by 6:30 or so, lots of people had walked out carrying the little black bags with the iPhone on the side, and they started letting us plebians into the store to check out the iPhone. Having loaded TUAW on all their display units, I headed out at around 7:00, and from what I saw, they still had tons of iPhones left, even after having sold a good few hundred from my estimation. All in all, a very smooth launch. Check the gallery below to experience it for yourself.