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We told you so? Chinese iPhone 4S launch turns into egg-throwing melee [View All]

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-12 03:47 PM
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We told you so? Chinese iPhone 4S launch turns into egg-throwing melee
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Source: Ars Technica

It's January 13, which means that Chinese iPhone buyers in China should already have new iPhone 4Ss in their grubby little hands. That is not the case, however, due to a disastrous launch day that generated safety issues, forcing Apple to suspend the launch in all of its mainland China stores. As it turns out, our description of the Chinese iPhone launch being a "feeding frenzy" wasn't too far off.

The story started off exactly as we expected: there were huge crowds outside of Apple's five mainland stores full of prospective buyers (plus scalpers)like the iPhone lines in the US, many had waited overnight to get their hands on a new 4S. When the stores didn't open exactly on time, however, the crowds started getting rowdy, causing store employees to become concerned for their own safety and that of the customers. At that point, according to several accounts (covered by NPR and the New York Times), police reportedly ordered that the stores not be opened, and Apple announced over a megaphone that the launch was cancelled. As a result, some members of the crowd began pelting the stores with eggs and a number of kerfuffles broke out.

According to a statement given to All Things D, Chinese buyers won't be able to buy an iPhone 4S from an Apple retail store at all for now. "Unfortunately, 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 available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being," a spokesperson said. "Customers can still order iPhone through the Apple Online Store, or buy at China Unicom and other authorized resellers."

In our opinion, Apple and Beijing police should have seen it coming. Chinese buyers in particular are eager to have the latest and greatest from Apple at all times, and the iPhone 4S launch there was highly anticipated. As noted by Macworld, many Chinese buyers weren't even aware that they could buy an iPhone 4S anywhere but Apple's official retail stores. With the kind of huge crowds Apple has already been seeing at its Chinese stores, the company should have made a much wider push to educate potential customers about their other options for procuring an iPhone 4S.

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