Apple suspended sales of the iPhone 4S at select stores in China after crowds of would-be buyers got out of hand. Thousands of people lined up in cold temperatures to be the first to buy the highly anticipated handset. When the Sanlitun store in Beijing didn’t open on time, the crowds became combative – fights broke out and people pelted the store with eggs.
According to eyewitness accounts reported by M.I.C. Gadget, many customers waiting in line were organized teams of buyers hired by scalpers. Rather than risk injury to customers or employees, the Sanlitun store refused to sell the iPhone 4S and stayed closed for the day. Most of the line-waiters left after they realized the store would not open. Police sent the remaining crowd home.
This incident forced Apple to suspend in-store sales of the iPhone 4S in its flagship Beijing and Shanghai stores. Chinese customers looking for the iPhone 4S can but the phone online, at China Unicom or through other authorized resellers.
[Bloomberg and M.I.C. Gadget]
Apple suspends retail store sales of the iPhone 4S in Beijing and Shanghai