With posters saying "Don't break our phones" and displaying cell phone images saying "No entry" in hands, the high-spirited protesters braved drizzling rain and bitter wind outside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store, Xinhua news agency reported.

'We are standing in solidarity with Apple and their decision to oppose the FBI's scheme to put backdoors to the iPhones,' said Jeff Lyon, chief technical officer of the activist group Fight for the Future.

The protest occurred against the background of a major feud between the country's law enforcement agencies and Apple over its security measures on iPhones.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion last Friday to compel Apple to comply with a court order to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation access data on an iPhone owned by the terrorist shooter of San Bernadino, California.

The FBI has in its possession of the iPhone 5C used by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, but couldn't access the data on the phone without a passcode. The couple shot dead 14 people in December 2015 in San Bernadino and were later killed by police.