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As new iPhone surges, Apple slips

David Zuber of Switzerland was first in line at the Apple Store on Boylston Street for the debut of the new iPhones Friday.
David Zuber of Switzerland was first in line at the Apple Store on Boylston Street for the debut of the new iPhones Friday.Credit: Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

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Somehow, Apple Inc. did it again.

The technology giant on Friday released the latest versions of its hallmark smartphone, the iPhone 5s, which contained few advances over its predecessor, and a cheaper version, the 5c, that’s still more expensive than many rival phones.

And yet, in Boston and cities around the world, crowds lined up outside retailers, proving that Apple still enjoys a level of customer loyalty that virtually no other company commands.

“There is an incredibly loyal bunch who at all costs must be the first to have it,” said Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC in Framingham. “You don’t see that happen very often in the world of consumer electronics. These are the folks who are going to get up at five in the morning, and they wear that with pride.”

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