Apple Cracks Down on iPhone 4 Scalping in China
Like tickets to a major sporting event or the latest video game system release, a hot ticket in town always brings out the scalpers. In China, however, the scalpers are out in full force with one primary target in sight - prospective iPhone 4 buyers. As a result, Apple has been put on the spot to address this growing problem. And they have.
Released just days ago, the iPhone 4 has already seen - as anticipated - massive product shortages within the world's most populous nation and largest mobile community. In order to limit scalping and help consumers obtain their new Apple smartphone without being fleeced by scalpers, Apple is putting in place a new reservation program at the company's retail outlets in China (new Shanghai flagship store pictured above).
Here's how it works: As you might imagine, walk-in iPhone 4 sales are no longer permissible at Apple Stores in China. Instead, customers must now reserve their smartphone online prior to visiting the store to pick up the goods. The program also includes purchases of the iPhone 3GS, which has similarly been barred from walk-in sales. Still, even with attempts to cut back on iPhone scalping in that part of the world, it could take upwards of one month for Apple to meet the consistently overwhelming demand for the iPhone 4 within China.
Apple (China site w/ Google translation)