Accompanied by rapturous applause from Apple’s legions of fans, many of whom queued for hours to see him, Steve Jobs unveiled the eagerly awaited iPhone at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco last night.

The new gadget from Apple certainly looks impressive, and will come in 4GB and 8GB versions, costing $499 or $599. It includes a touchscreen with virtual keyboard, a 2 megapixel camera, is WIFI enabled, as well as containing all the functions of an iPod.

Jobs claimed the new device will change the mobile landscape:

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”

“The iPod changed everything in 2001. We’re going to do it again with the iPhone in 2007.”

This blogger was clearly all excited about the news:

“I don’t think I have ever felt such an overwhelming desire to own — no, just to touch — a product in my life. It really looks extraordinary.”

Digg users were also pretty happy about the device, with one post announcing the new phone receiving over 17,000 Diggs.

But Rupert Goodwins at ZDNet, while impressed with the product, pointed out a few potential flaws, including the battery life (five hours talktime and sixteen hours of music playaback) and the touchscreen.

Meanwhile, Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion looked at the implications for advertisers, claiming that the iPhone will “bring advertising to mobile devices in a way that people will accept”.

This, he said, is because the iPhone will allow users to view full HTML versions of web pages and zoom in on content, though whether users will enjoy that prospect or bother to focus in on display ads is another matter.

As well as unveiling the iPhone, Jobs announced that Apple will now be dropping the word ‘computer’ from its name, and will now be known as Apple Inc, reflecting the company’s focus on consumer electronics.