On the day of reckoning for the most-hyped gadget in recent memory, eager customers lined up Thursday and Friday, a few even braving torrential rain, to be among the first to get their hands on the coveted new cell phone from Apple.
The gadget, which combines the functions of a cell phone, iPod and wireless Web browser, went on sale in the U.S. at Apple and AT&T stores at 6 pm Friday in each time zone.
It's been the focus of endless chatter and even parodied on late-night TV. It's hogged so much of the media spotlight, a St. Paul, Minn., minor league baseball team planned to spoof its porcine mascot by selling a real "iPig."
"This phone is going to blow everything out of the water," Tony Cecchini, 40, a San Antonio, Texas, air conditioner salesman said while braving a downpour to wait outside an AT&T store Thursday morning.
Apple and AT&T -- the phone's exclusive cellular carrier -- did not disclose how many units would be available at launch, adding to the frenzy that more typically accompanies the releases of video game consoles.