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In quest of the iPhone: Hundreds line up at Apple store on Lincoln Road

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."

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.