Excited Mac fans besieged Mac resellers nationwide on Friday night, awaiting the official release of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther.

By 8pm, the Square Group store – in London’s New Oxford Street shopping heartland – had attracted a snaking queue of Panther-hungry punters.

At the front was Sam Edler, she said: "The time to move from OS 9 to OS X has finally arrived for me. I can't hold back any longer."

Just behind was Christopher Carline, who said: "I decided to queue up and buy my copy now so that I can spend the weekend getting to know how it works.”

Richard Peters was another eager customer. He said: "I've read so many articles about Panther and everybody seems to have something good to say about it. I think the new version is something to be celebrated – especially when you compare what Apple is doing to the other companies working on updates to their operating systems. Apple is miles ahead."

Austrians Mark Hoffernscher and Alexandra Sunner were also queuing, and admitted to being "huge Mac fans", although Alexandra insisted: "It’s my boyfriend who is the addict not me!"

Denis Frayssignes, representing France, said: "I'm an Apple zealot so it had to be tonight. I couldn't possibly wait until tomorrow."

Square deal Square Group sold a total of 75 copies of Panther. The scene was repeated at similar late-night and weekend openings by Apple resellers around the country.

Gordon Harwood Computers purchasing manager Mark Leighton said: "We had a fantastic response and were busy all day. Everybody was so eager to get their hands on a copy."

KRCS marketing manager Keren Gilfoyle-McGroarty said: "Things were completely mad in our Nottingham branch, and our other two branches were even busier. We sold so many more copies than we anticipated that we only have 15 copies left from our allocation."

Mark Newcombe, manager of AT Computers, said: "The weekend was excellent. We had lots of people and we were busy all day. The initial reaction to Panther has been very good."

However, not everyone wishing to get their hands on Panther was so lucky. One reader contacted Macworld to say: "Despite Apple's promise that customers who pre-ordered a copy would receive it on October 24, I still haven't received it today, Saturday."

Other disappointed Mac users made their feelings known on the Macworld Online Forum. One said: "I ordered mine on October 16 from the Apple Storeand, and got an email on the 22nd saying that it's been shipped. It's now the 24th now and it didn't arrive this morning. I guess I'll be waiting till the 27th now.”

Have you received your copy of Panther from the Apple Store yet? If not join the discussion on the Macworld forum and let your thoughts be known here.