Chinese customers were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the new iPhone 4S in their country. Unfortunately, the IT producer decided to cancel the launching of the smartphone at the last minute, thus raising outrage among Chinese clients. The iPhone sales were halted after shoppers attacked the Apple store with eggs and shoving matches on Friday, says Reuters.
Once the assault over the store in the trendy Sanlitun district was over, Apple spokespersons were able to communicate that iPhone 4s sales will be halted for the time being. Beijing customers who want to purchase the smartphone may order it on the online stores of the company.
This was the only Apple store in China that encountered hostility on behalf of Chinese clients. There is another store in Beijing and three more in Shanghai where stocks were quickly sold out.
The conflict in the Sanlitun district was caused by an announcer with a bullhorn who told the crowd around 7 a.m. that the phone is no longer available for sale. Since people in the crowd had been waiting for more almost 12 hours, the announcement produced a general state of discontent. Scuffles broke out between security staff and shoppers and the police was called to restore the order.
The recorded images showed that men were angry because they did not understand why the store decided to cancel the sales knowing that people had been waiting outside for an entire night. Some men stated that the crowd disappeared around 5 p.m. when police started fighting with the customers. Some people were injured during the scuffles.
Sources claim that the local police ordered the closing of the store. Although the prices range from 4,988 to 6,788 yuan ($792 to $1,077), many people look forward to purchasing the smartphone. Even so, scalpers did not miss the chance to make a few bucks during the Friday launching. People were, thus, able to see them mingling with the crowd in the Sanlitun district. When reporters asked if they prefer to sell the smartphone at a smaller price, they replied that “1,000 [yuan] is profit enough”.
Apple declared later on Friday that they could not open the store because of the large crowd of customers waiting outside. In addition, they plan to withdraw the smartphone from the Beijing and Shanghai stores for the safety of their customers and their employees.