Hong Kong Deploys Lottery System to Deal with New iPad Demand
In what amounts to be a now-familiar move in Hong Kong whenever new Apple products are released, a lottery-based reservation system was put in place ahead of today's third-generation iPad launch. The result? Fantastic crowd control and no threat of riots outside the Apple store.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "the army of frenzied fans and long queues that usually accompany such an event were lacking" as an online “iReserve” system was established, which scheduled registered buyers to pick up their iPad throughout the day.
The real underlying goal of this convenient and seemingly effective lottery, however, was not to simply control otherwise massive mobs of shoppers. It was to discourage scalpers from getting their hands on the new iPad.
Earlier this week, the WSJ reported, "dozens of hopefuls had queued for days near Apple’s store downtown, for a time frustrating police efforts to disperse them." But not all were true Apple fans, one security guard revealed. "Some of them were just lining up to make money, such as the elderly, because they wanted to resell them.”
For now, Apple isn't providing any details on first day sales, but the iReserve system in Hong Kong is apparently down right now amidst crushing traffic and the unstoppable consumer interest that follows the release of a new iPad.