iPhone launch: Time stands still, along with hopeful customers

The months of waiting finally came to a close as Apple's iPhone went on sale in the US last night. It was a startling mix of brand loyalty and fanboy obsessiveness. We've got the low-down

If, as a baby, you asked to have your first 18 years worth of Christmases and birthdays on the day you turned 18, you still wouldn't quite feel the truly euphoric excitement felt by the thousands upon thousands of devoted Apple fans right now. The iPhone is on sale and thousands have been sold already.

Leading up to this, a staggering number of dedicated iPhans have even taken it upon themselves to stream their experiences of waiting in line, live over the Internet for the world to see 24/7. Pneumonia is a small price to pay to get an iPhone for these people, not to mention when compared to the monetary cost of owning the -- geez, can I say it? -- Messiah Phone, for two years.

Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak refused to be given an iPhone the easy way by Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself -- he opted instead to wait in the lines with the iPhanatical crowds of hopeful customers. Famous ex-Microsoft employee and revered A-list blogger Robert Scoble was first in line at one store. The loving iPhather that he is, Scoble brought along his son, who contentedly became queuer number two. Though the tech celebs were out in force, this was a day for anyone who wanted an iPhone. The first few buyers proudly held up the fruits of their laborious all-weather camp for the world to see.

Engadget humorously reported America's other mobile stores were all but deserted, and the soon-to-be-beaten-up-by-a-fanboy guys at immediately ripped apart the iPhone and took Apple-haters on a tour of the gadget's insides. For thousands of Appleites around the world, time slowed down and reality turned black-and-white. It was rumoured the London iPhilharmonic Orchestra would be conducting an emergency live performance of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, which would be streamed in a continuous loop to visitors viewing the iPhone dissection Web site.

The cheering, celebrating and mutual back-patting carried on for hours. How long this'll last when someone drops their new favourite thing and the screen breaks... well, that's anyone's guess. -Nate Lanxon

Update: Our full review of the Apple iPhone is now live.