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Local line begins forming for iPhone
From right, Laura Monjoy, Tyler Crowley and Conrad Quilty-Harper, all of whom operate a Website called Mahalo.com, are near the front of a line of about 30 people - as of 5 p.m. Pacific Coast time - in front of an Apple Store in Santa Monica, Calif., waiting for the introduction of the Apple iPhone Thursday, June 28, 2007. On the eve of the day of reckoning for the most-hyped gadget in recent memory, eager customers lined up to be among the first to get their hands on the coveted new cell phone from Apple Inc., which will go on sale at 6 p.m. Friday. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

BLOOMINGTON - A line is growing in front of the AT&T-Cingular Wireless retail store in southeast Bloomington as the much hyped iPhone goes on sale at 6 p.m.

Six people waited in line at noon Friday. Two had just arrived, and only two slept outside the store overnight. Another drove more than 30 miles from Gibson City Friday morning to wait for the iPhone to go on sale.

She took off work to do so.

"I'm the boss. I can do that," said Toni Day, owner of RA Physical Therapy in Gibson City and third in line for the iPhone sale.

"It's a full operating system. It's a full Web browser. It's got a multi-touch screen. It's all new," Day said of the do-it-all smart phone/music player.

One of two teenagers who slept on the sidewalk overnight isn't even buying an iPhone. He's keeping his friend company and making some money in the process.

"I thought it was really comfortable," said 15-year-old Jake Ellis, stretched out over a sleeping bag spread over the concrete sidewalk in front of the AT&T store at the Brandtville Center, 1605 S. Morrissey Drive.

Another hopeful iPhone buyer is paying Ellis $50 to wait in line. Ellis arrived at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, so he'll be in line for nearly 20 hours. At $50 pay, that's about $2.50 an hour.

The minimum wage, meanwhile, increases to $7.50 an hour in Illinois Sunday.

Ellis doesn't care. He was going to be in line anyway to keep his 17-year-old friend Martin Dennis company. Dennis was the first to arrive at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The store is only Twin City retailer able to sell the iPhone Friday. The store closes temporarily at 4:30 p.m. to prepare for the 6 p.m. release.

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