iPhone debut rings frenzy

San Francisco, June 30:

Excited gadget junkies got their hands on much coveted iPhones as the new cell-phone from Apple finally went on sale.

“It was worth the wait,” crowed Stephen Easley, kissing the phone and almost dropping it after emerging from an Apple store in Arlington, Virginia yesterday.

The 49-year-old investment banker had arrived on Thursday to be the first of hundreds in the line. They filed in to the store at exactly 6 pm, where they high-fived Apple employees before buying the phones.

Thousands of others had camped out at stores across the US — many of them for more than a day — to make sure of getting one of the most sophisticated hand-held computers ever developed, following six months of unprecedented expectation.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said that the company may have underestimated the extent of interest in the device and supplies could run out. “We’ve taken our best guess but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it ain’t enough,” Jobs told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. The phone was made available yesterday evening at thousands of stores of the AT&T network and at Apple’s retail stores, where extra staff have been added and specially trained to deal with the onslaught of phone-freaks.

“I’m just taking vitamins, doing push-ups and trying to get adequate rest,” said Katy Johnson, who works in an AT&T store in Capitola, California. “It’s going to be a long day.” The device functions as a cell-phone, internet browser and iPod media player all encased in a slick black tablet that features an innovative multi-touch screen.