Furious fans hurl eggs at Beijing store after it cancels iPhone 4S launch because crowd was too big
Apple always want a reaction when one of their new products launch, although they probably weren't hoping for the angry scenes which erupted in China yesterday.
Gaga over Apple: About 2,000 people turned up for the iPhone 4S launch but the crowd erupted after the store failed to open on schedule and an Apple employee announced that their stock was finished.
Frustrated customers threw eggs at Apple's flagship Beijing store after its opening for the Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S was cancelled due to concerns over the size of the crowd.
Apple reacted to the scuffle by postponing iPhone 4S sales in its mainland China stores to protect the safety of customers and employees.
Cops had to be called in to control the crowds after some started hurling eggs. Pics/Getty Images
It said the phone will still be sold online and through its local carrier. Customers including migrant workers hired by touts in teams of 20 to 30 to buy iPhones for resale at a mark-up to Chinese gadget fans waited overnight in freezing weather at the Apple store in Beijing's eastern Sanlitun district.
The crowd erupted after the store failed to open on schedule. Some threw eggs and shouted at employees through the windows. A person with a megaphone announced the sale was cancelled. Police ordered the crowd to leave and sealed off the area with yellow tape.
Employees posted a sign saying the iPhone 4S was out of stock. "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 for the time being," said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu.
Apple's iPhones are hugely popular in China and stores are mobbed for the release of new products. People in the crowd said the number grew to as many as 2,000 overnight but many left before dawn after word spread that the store opening would be cancelled.
There were about 350 people left when the protest erupted. Several said they were waiting to buy the phone. "I just like the 4S," said Zhu Xiaodong, a Beijing resident.