Oklahoma is not immune to the epidemic. Dozens of mostly adults fevered and frenzied " foam starting to form at the ends of their mouths. Other symptoms of the infection include debate with other inflicted souls about computer operating systems and wireless protocols.
Since 3:30 a.m. this morning, those truly desperate have been lining up inside Penn Square Mall waiting for Apple's pharmacy to start administering the cure: the new iPhone, which goes on sale at 6:30 p.m.
Jason Christopher, 30, said he had been waiting for Apple to develop a cell phone for years, and was excited to get to the mall at 6:30 a.m. to be among the first to purchase one.
What's most astounding is that the iPhone will be among the most expensive available, costing between $499 and $599 (depending on features), and that none of the scores of people waiting to whip out their wallets has seen the phone, touched the phone or tried the phone.
But Christopher and others said they have no problem buying an Apple product sight unseen.
A confessed Mac fan, Zakk Williams, 29, said he is always enthusiastic about Apple's products and generally supports any technology the company sells.
"It just works!" someone yelled from the back of the line.
The iPhone concept formally was announced by Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference & Expo in January, though Internet chatter, hope and speculation had been circulating about Apple's interest in the cell phone market for at least a year.
iPhone, which works on the AT&T Mobility network " formerly Cingular Wireless " is a sexy phone. Glossy and sleek, it boasts a touch screen, camera and a seamless form factor. But inside, as the Penn Square Mac fans are quick to point out, is what makes iPhone different.
The phone is part Internet browser, music and multimedia player and calendar " a function that Christopher, who helps run the concert hall at the CatlettMusicCenter at the University of Oklahoma, said will make the iPhone particularly useful.
"I can sync the calendar up to the one on my computer, which will be great, and the whole phone looks very easy to use," he said. "Joe Wertz