As we've reported, thousands of early-adopting American Apple fans queued up to be among the first to own the new iPhone that went on sale at 6pm yesterday.

The launch of Apple's iPhone seems to have passed both successfully and peacefully with fears of trampling and riot scenes from the widely predicted iMania thankfully not being realised.

What was realised however, was party-like atmospherics, theatrics and the kind of media attention never before seen for the launch of a consumer electronics product.

The iPhone's debut attracted some celebrity interest with film director Spike Lee picking up a couple of phones to auction to raise money for an African charity and actress Whoopi Goldberg nabbing herself one of the desirable handsets.

Despite the fact that Steve Jobs was sending him an iPhone due to arrive on Saturday, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak went to a shopping centre in San Jose to grab a couple of extras and enjoy the atmosphere.

Wearing a t-shirt that said: "I was there. 6.29.07" Wozniak was honoured by queuing Apple fans who had got there days before to ensure a good place in queue by being given the first place in line.

Microsoft representatives, obviously hoping for some iLove to rub off of them, were spotted handing out bottles of water to iQueuers in San Francisco.

As it got nearer to iTime, a strange hysteria seemed to come over some lines with reports of queuers waiting a few minutes before the stores were due to open to throw their current phones (in one reported instance a none-too-shabby LG Chocolate) on the floor and stamp on them, to the deafening cheers of onlookers.

In Apple stores, staff counted down the seconds to the opening as if it were New Year's Eve while in San Francisco, customers took the theme one step further and even sang "Auld Lang Syne", as if ushering in a new age of telecommunications.

After the long wait and stores finally opened, the first customers out of the shops held their iPhone bags and boxes aloft in triumph, with one onlooker reportedly shouting "You're all American heroes!" to successful shoppers.

New York played home to the most romantic iPhone story as a 42-year-old consultant from Manhattan who bought an Apple handset immediately presented his iPhone box to his girlfriend as an engagement ring.

By all accounts those involved in the cross-country iPhone "slumber party" enjoyed the experience, so hopefully won’t be too put out by the news that according to the Apple iPhone online stock-checker, all Apple outlets across America show healthy stock of the iPhone, rendering the days and nights spent queuing slightly unnecessary...