Apple postpones Chinese iPhone 4S release, crowd throws eggs

By on January 13, 2012, 5:00 PM

Apple has postponed plans to begin offering the iPhone 4S through its retail locations in mainland China, the Washington Post reports. The company was forced to delay the launch because of the enormous crowds which coalesced overnight, citing concerns of public safety.

One reason for the huge turnout may be that China Unicom is giving away fully-subsidized iPhone 4S handsets with the promise of a two year contract for 16GB models. For those willing to brave a three year contract, the 32GB model can be had for "free" as well.

After waiting overnight in the bitter cold afront an Apple store in Beijing, a very large crowd of eager Chinese citizens were about to be disappointed. Around 7 am, an employee armed with a megaphone announced the store would not be opening due to safety concerns. A sign was put up claiming the iPhone 4S was "out of stock".

The most fervent members of the crowd pelted the store with eggs while other individuals shouted at employees. Police promptly dispersed the crowd and taped off the area.

Carolyn Wu, a spokeswoman for Apple stated, "We were unable to open our store at Sanlitun 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"

Reportedly, many of the people waiting were large groups of migrant workers hired by scalpers to purchase iPhones for resale. The reason for scalpers hiring entire busloads of people is likely due to the fact that Apple has limited sales of its handsets to two per customer.

Since Apple has only a handful of stores located exclusively in Beijing and Shanghai, scalpers routinely buy up highly desirable Apple merchandise. Monopolizing on those products, scalpers then fleece Chinese consumers with exorbitantly re-priced Apple products. One such group was paid $15 each to take the bus there and wait in line.

Although local mainland retail locations will not carry the phone for an unknown amount of time, Chinese customers may still purchase the iPhone 4S through Apple's online store, China Unicom and resellers.




User Comments: 18

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Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

What foresight on their part to bring eggs with them!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

Ranger12 said:

What foresight on their part to bring eggs with them!

HAHA! I was just thinking the same thing. I was like, "wait a minute...they carry eggs around with them? Must be a Chinese thing." :P

foreverzero89 said:

such a disgrace.....and yet another reason to hate apple, they have all those people brainwashed! there are better devices out there than the iphail!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

a giant kung fu fight leaving hundreds injured would have been a much better ending.

Guest said:

Good idea, I should of bring eggs to the apple open. Droid soldier.... FTW!

Guest said:

Better yet, rotten apples!

matrix86 matrix86 said:

foreverzero89 said:

such a disgrace.....and yet another reason to hate apple

Hold up a minute, here. I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but now you've just got blind hate here. What Apple did was a good thing. They put the safety of innocent bystanders and employees ahead of business. I do believe they could have found a much better way to handle this, but still, I applaud them for putting safety ahead of business. Set aside your blind fanboy hate and act like an adult for minute.

Mindwraith said:

People get so excited over a phone.. its a sad society that we have

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

matrix86 said:

foreverzero89 said:

such a disgrace.....and yet another reason to hate apple

Hold up a minute, here. I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but now you've just got blind hate here. What Apple did was a good thing. They put the safety of innocent bystanders and employees ahead of business. I do believe they could have found a much better way to handle this, but still, I applaud them for putting safety ahead of business. Set aside your blind fanboy hate and act like an adult for minute.

+1

1 person liked this | Guest said:

This is no different in Black Friday sale here, where people kills each other by human stampeding to a sale items that the media hype about.

Guest said:

ahh!, there is a place called call a Grocery store, Bodega, mom and pop store, or corner store to other that call them by a different name. I sure they have them near a Apple store everywhere in the world.

funguseater said:

Don't Worry!!!! You can still buy an ePhone 4s down the street!!!

1 person liked this | jeffz6 said:

Next years model includes the egg

Euph0ria Euph0ria said:

foreverzero89 said:

such a disgrace.....and yet another reason to hate apple

Hold up a minute, here. I hate Apple as much as the next guy, but now you've just got blind hate here. What Apple did was a good thing. They put the safety of innocent bystanders and employees ahead of business. I do believe they could have found a much better way to handle this, but still, I applaud them for putting safety ahead of business. Set aside your blind fanboy hate and act like an adult for minute.

Wait a sec... how do apply "Fanboy" just because you loathe what Apple has done and has been doing to the industry for years? Where's the "Fan" in knowing Apple sucks ass?

1 person liked this | Euph0ria Euph0ria said:

Next years model includes the egg

They've patented the iegg, and they'll sue or force you to pay royalties you if you try and throw a regular egg at them because it infringes on their copyright. A regular egg has never been patented and it resembles their iegg too closely for anyone use it freely without royalties.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

They've patented the iegg, and they'll sue or force you to pay royalties you if you try and throw a regular egg at them because it infringes on their copyright. A regular egg has never been patented and it resembles their iegg too closely for anyone use it freely without royalties.

There is so much truth here I can't add to it. (y)

Doctor John Doctor John said:

They've patented the iegg, and they'll sue or force you to pay royalties you if you try and throw a regular egg at them because it infringes on their copyright. A regular egg has never been patented and it resembles their iegg too closely for anyone use it freely without royalties.

Nice one!! LMAO

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