An Apple retail store in Beijing, China has been pelted with eggs after customers were told that sales of the iPhone 4S would not go ahead as planned. Police were called to the scene and they tried to calm down aggressive customers unhappy with the situation.
Apple have stopped all retail sales of the latest iPhone in China, but the phones are available online through Apple resellers and the partner China Unicom website.
Punters in China camped out overnight in freezing conditions to get hold of a phone, but an announcer armed with a bullhorn told them at 7am that the phones would not go on sale and that they should go home. Understandably the crowd got restless. A man came back armed with eggs in a plastic bag and started handing them out to other people at the scene. After the eggs were thrown, local police were called to the premises to break up the crowd. There have been complaints made as police were said to be heavy handed, hurting some of the people in the crowd.
Reuters filed a report on the event and spoke to one man who said “We’re suffering from cold and hunger, They said they’re not going to sell to us. Why? Why?”
Another person said “I got in line around 11 p.m., and beyond the line the plaza was chock full with people, Around 5 a.m. the crowds in the plaza broke through and the line disappeared entirely. Everyone was fighting, several people were hurt. The police just started hitting people. They were just brawling.”
Apple have issued a statement which was emailed to some press today “The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible and our stores in China have already sold out. Unfortunately we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, the iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.”
Kitguru says: Seems like a botched launch all round for Apple. Steve Jobs wouldn’t be happy and we wonder how Tim Cook will respond in his place.