iPhone 4 Madness Arrives

Huge crowds mobbed Apple Stores around the country Thursday morning to be among the first to get their hands on the ultra-hyped Apple iPhone4 smartphones, perhaps the most sought after device in recent consumer electronics history.

At the Apple Store at Town Square Mall in Las Vegas, a sales associate told InternetNews.com that dozens of people were queued up well in advance of the store's 7 a.m. opening and they all had only one thing on their minds.

"It's been crazy," said one associate named "Shelly" who didn't want to disclose her full name. "It's really busy right now and has been all morning. I don't really even have time to talk to you about it. It's crazy and it's all about the iPhone 4."

It's still too early to make any definitive predictions, but analysts and Apple officials are confident that the iPhone 4 demand will easily outpace the record early sales of both the original iPhone and the iPhone 3GS.

The original iPhone sold more than 270,000 units during its opening weekend in June 2007. That was followed up by the iPhone 3G launch in July 2008, which sold more than 1 million units in its opening weekend.

If pre-orders are any indication, the iPhone 4 will easily eclipse even those impressive sales figures. Early demand for it was so acute, online shoppers