By 7 o'clock this morning, at least 1,000 people were standing in line at SouthPark Mall to buy the latest iPhone.
"Everybody ready?" an Apple store employee asked as she opened the doors at 7:04. The crowd – which included people who’d started trying to get in line as early as Wednesday afternoon -- whooped its approval.
First in the door was Stephen Martin, 42, and his daughter Gabi, 12, and son Sam, 12. They’d arrived at the mall at about 5 a.m., just as the mall security guards began letting people line up in the parking garage outside. The guards been politely running people off for hours, telling them the line couldn’t start forming until about 5.
"We got really lucky," Martin said. "There were people trolling the parking lot. There were people hiding in the stairwells. I think there might have been people hiding in the mall."