Beijing iPhone 4S Launch Soured By Violent Scalpers and Angry Crowds
Who knew the recipe for the Chinese iPhone 4S launch would be one part angry mob, one part eggs, and two parts scalpers.
The iPhone 4S launch in China at Apple’s flagship Beijing store quickly turned from a combination of scalpers and genuine buyers waiting patiently in line to an an angry mob when those waiting in line were notified the store opening would be delayed. The delay, caused by the massive number of scalpers in line, resulted in the crowd chanting to open the store before eventually tossing eggs at the store facade.
The Beijing SWAT team even arrived to break up reported fights between gangs of scalpers. The delay eventually turned into an outright cancellation of the launch at the Beijing Apple Store. Other Chinese stores reported no such violence, and China Unicom officials sent out texts reminding buyers they could order their phones online for home delivery.
It appears the battle to prevent teams of scalpers working together to purchase massive amounts of available stock to create an artificial demand resulted in no phones for anybody at Beijing's flagship Apple Store. Hopefully tomorrow the doors open to a more civil crowd devoid of scalpers.