Before the Apple store on Lincoln Road officially opened its doors Friday morning, more than 500 people were waiting in a line that snaked around the outdoor mall and stretched into an alley behind.
An employee warned people near the back of the line that there was no guarantee the top-of-the-line model, the 5S, would still be available by the time their turn came. The plastic 5C, however, was apparently well stocked and less in demand.
Lloyd Pearson, a 31-year-old web designer from Miami, showed up before 4 a.m. to nab the first spot in line.
"It’s not a line you see other places where people wait for days in advance," he said. "Here, everybody’s tardy for some reason."
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Pearson said he showed up early so he could get the phone he wanted: the 64 GB iPhone 5S in space gray for T-Mobile.
"I don’t want gold," he said of the much- promoted new color. "I just need functionality, I don’t want to flaunt it."
After the 8 a.m. opening, an employee told customers near the back of the line that the gold and silver iPhone 5S would be gone by the time their turn came. The less-flashy space gray, however, would likely still be available in all sizes.
Another employee said the gold phone was a rare commodity, telling people in line that the store only had two in stock.