Friday, January 13, 2012

Apple Store in China Suspends Launch of iPhone 4S

In the past couple of years, there have been some crazy stories about shoppers in China fighting over Apple products when they are first released; however, when the Apple iPhone 4S was released this week in Beijing, things got crazier than anyone ever anticipated. Things were so out of hand that Apple had to temporarily halt the sale of the devices.

Apple did expect that there would be an incredibly high demand for the device in China, but this is the first time that Apple has ever had to suspend the sale of a product because of its intense popularity.

It was just last week that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, said, “Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts. With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever." Despite this exciting news, Apple has been forced to hold off on the launch of the iPhone 4S in China because the crowds at the Beijing store were simply too over-excited and there were several violent outbursts that occurred.

Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told the Associated Press, "We were unable to open our store at Sanlitun [the Apple flagship store in Beijing] due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being."

Apple has said that shoppers in China that want the iPhone 4S can still purchase the device online; however, as of right now, the device is still not featured on Apple’s Chinese online store.

So why are there so many customers, you may ask? Yes, it is normal for there to be plenty of customers lined up at Apple product’s launch; however, these crowds were record-breaking. The explanation being given is that these customers were not just Apple enthusiasts, but there were also large groups of professional scalpers that were looking to purchase devices that they could then resell at highly inflated prices. However, this obviously didn’t work out for the scalpers or those genuinely wanting the new device.

Apple has not yet said how long the sales of the iPhone 4S will be halted in Apple Stores in China, but hopefully for the Chinese customers, it won’t be much longer.
If you are interested in seeing the crowds and the fights that broke out, check out the video below.

Source: PCMag - Unruly Crowds Prompt Apple to Halt iPhone 4S Sales in China

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