The wait for Apple crazed fans is finally over as Apple stores across America opened their doors for the launch of Apple's iPhone.

With US gadget sites and media going crazy over what was dubbed "iDay", Apple launched the phone to huge crowds who had been waiting since Monday to get the company's latest gadget.

The phone, which promises touch sensitive controls, a built in iPod for music player, fully functional web browser and Wi-Fi connectivity has finally gone on sale after being announced to great fanfare in January By Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the company's annual Macworld Conference in San Francisco.

It is available in two versions sporting either four or eight gigabytes of memory and also features a digital camera.

Praised by newspaper tech journalists already, gadgets fans had their own chance to finally get their hands on the new mobile phone, which some commentators have said will have a profound change and effect on the mobile phone handset industry.

Apple said buyers visiting its stores would not be able to walk out with more than two iPhones each.

However as Americans queued ready to sign up to a 2 year contract on the AT&T network in the US, Europeans were bracing themselves for a rumoured announcement on Monday from Vodafone that it would be launching a 3G version of the phone in the UK later in the year.

As New Yorkers got to grips with their new models, Californians close to Apple's home of San Francisco had to wait for a further 3 hours before getting their hands on the new device.

Eyewitness reports said over 600 people queued at the New York Apple store on Fifth Avenue.

The lines drew plenty of fans, celebrities, opportunists, paid line-stand-ins, a city Mayor and even the co-founder of Apple; Steve Wozniak.

According to Reuters a man in the New York line was offered $4500 for his spot but turned it down, while Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street reportedly waited 3 hours in-line before being rumbled and leaving the scene after a passer-by asked him about the city's murder rate.

Gadget bloggers across the States rushed to get the first unboxing on YouTube with Gizmodo in the US opting for a live unboxing via Justin.tv.

Apple, who has promised an iPhone for all its staff, hopes the new product will become one of the company's key products, alongside the iPod, its computers, and its Apple TV product, launched earlier in the year.

In preparation for the launch Apple also released an update for its iTunes music software package. The 30MB file includes a number of new features for the phone and is necessary to activate the phone via iTunes.

While the iPhone isn't yet available in the UK, Amazon, hoping to cash in on the hype is offering to inform customers when and if it eventually does come in stock.

Apple said it hoped to sell 10 million iPhones by 2008 and grab itself a 1 per cent share of the mobile phone market, a considerably small number compared to music phones sold by Sony Ericsson and Nokia.