From the darkness on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto came a beacon of light from a four inch screen.
By the time the Apple Store opened at 8 a.m., more than 250 people were in line, waiting for a chance to get a new iPhone 5S or 5C.
"It's very exciting to be with all these other people who are filled with energy for the iPhone 5S, said Mountain View resident Alexis Bondch.
Free coffee energized the crowd, and so did a visit from Tim Cook. The Apple CEO shook hands with some of the company's most loyal customers and said he was impressed with the turnout.
When asked what he thought about the line, Cook said, "I love it."
"It's great, it's a good experience, I got to shake Tim Cook's hand," Lafayette resident John Stephens said.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was at a store in Los Gatos Thursday night where he bought doughnuts for the people waiting in line.
The biggest disappointment was a lack of the higher end 5S devices in the gold color. Only a handful of people were given a card, allowing them to buy it. The breaking point in line was, ironically, a tale of two Josh's; one with gold, the other wishing he'd gotten here a little earlier.
"Well they just let us know a couple minutes ago that they ran out of all the gold," Josh Bobb said. "That's the one that I'd been in line since seven last night for. So, looks like I'm going to get a white one instead."
When asked if he'd consider selling his new gold iPhone, Joshua Bautista said, "Maybe if the price is right."
In the end, the customers were treated like superstars when they entered the store; but when they exited the store the hype was over, and all that's left to do is spend a little alone time with the real star of the day.
"It's great, it feels amazing right now," Fitzgerald Geonzon said while showing off his near Gold iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 5C starting at $99 has been available for preorder for a few days. The 5S went on sale online at midnight, but they have to be shipped and that can take several days.