Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

Summary: Sales of the iPhone 4S have been suspended in Beijing and Shanghai, after huge crowds queuing outside Apple's main store in Beijing became unruly.

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When huge crowds swamped Apple's main store in Beijing's Sanlitun district, there were already concerns of a surge for the iPhone 4S when the doors would finally open.

It looks like those concerns were justified. Sales of the iPhone 4S were cancelled in some Apple stores throughout Beijing and Shanghai.

"Unfortunately we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd," an Apple spokesperson said, "to ensure the safety of our customers and employees".

"The iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being."

Customers, some of which had been waiting all night in freezing conditions, began to behave in an unruly way when it was announced that the shop would not be opening.

Signs had been advertising that the store would open at 7 am, but when it failed to do so the crowd began to chant "open the doors!" and "liars!". There were reports of scuffles breaking out.

Police temporarily cornered off the store after the crowd pelted it with eggs.

Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group, criticised Apple's actions over the event. "Everybody knows there will be massive numbers of people when Apple has this kind of launch. This shows very poor retail management ability".

The highly anticipated smartphone is still available through China Unicom and by ordering online. The launch went more smoothly in other stores. One store in the Pudong district, Shanghai opened an hour early, and was sold out almost immediately.

It looks as though the iPhone 4S is going to have a rocky launch in China on a count of being too successful and in demand. With the product selling out across China stores, many customers were left bitterly disappointed to have queued up without their reward.

The suspense of sales to avoid mobbing and 'scalpers' might have saved Apple from a disastrous launch or criminal negligence charges, but it has definitely left a lot of die-hard apple fans fuming.

Image source: Twitpic.

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Topics: China, Enterprise Software, iPhone, Mobility

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26 comments
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  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    I bet you a dollar to a donut that the vast majority of the people waiting outside the main Apple Store in China are scalper/resellers.
    jamboy34
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @jamboy34 Who cares, Apple still gets the $$$$....
      Hasam1991
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @jamboy34 Always love CES. Just found this great article for an outstanding solar gadget http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferhicks/2012/01/06/solar-powered-kindle-cover-introduced-at-ces/
      sreeseche
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @jamboy34 Wouldn't be surprised if a lot were but it doesn't change anything. They wouldn't be there if they couldn't sell them at a profit.
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    The very fact that someone is lining up for hours under such conditions just to get one of the most mass-produced device of cellphone history, should alone warrant a mandatory long-term psychiatric treatment for those individuals in question. Of course the same goes for american and any other Apple-customers lining up the same way and producing mass hysteria events anywhere over the world.
    ff2
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @ff2 I'M SURE Google wishes Android devices were just as popular...
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

        @Hasam1991 Right? If only LOL
        ColDave
      • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

        @Hasam1991
        Zactly...
        rpollard@...
      • and Microsoft have similar wet dreams I believe...

        @Hasam1991
        Giggle giggle. :-)
        Mikael_z
      • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

        @Hasam1991 Indeed. I find it highly amusing that the iPhone 4 and 4S gave VZW and Sprint it's best first day sales ever - and in VZW's case that was with a then 6 month old device vs more than a few newly released Android based smartphones.
        athynz
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @ff2 <br>Have you ever been to beijing?<br>Are you aware that people in beijing like to crowd around for just about anything. I remember huge crowds forming at a street mall because they installed a stupid catapult amusment park ride. I'm not talking 20-30 people. I'm talking like thousands like it was some big giant rally. <br><br>It happens allllllll the time. It doesn't mean they will pay money for anything. They just want to gawk because everybody else is doing the same.
      rengek
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @ff2 So is your point that anybody waiting in line for anything or just those that wait for Apple products?
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    Isn't this usually when someone argues "Only the iSheep buy Apple products"? or perhaps "Only those that already own a Mac want to buy an iPhone"?
    THavoc
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    Owning Apple devices is essential to life, health and the continued existence of the human race. Buy Apple products exclusively and often. They are the means to eternal salvation. All human problems are quickly and easily addressed by ownership of Apple products. Apple never fails. Apple is supreme. Long live Apple. All other products are meaningless. Resistance is futile.
    Trep Ford
    • Tru Dat!!!!

      @Trep Ford

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @Trep Ford Agreed. The only thing I'd add is that instead of teaching superflous and non-essentials things like math, phyisics and history, schools should rather teach people how not to hold phones wrong. THEN there would be nothing left to hinder eternal salvation.
      ff2
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    Where did they get the eggs? Were they carrying them in their pockets all night on the off chance they could use them? Or was there a vendor nearby - open at 7:00 AM?
    levinson
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    Isn't this the same iPhone 4S that was going to be a big disappointment for Apple and consumers?

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/google/as-iphone-mojo-fades-android-continues-to-grow-satisfy/3380?tag=search-results-rivers;item1
    dave95.
    • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

      @dave95. Bring on the iFlamers.
      Champ_Kind
  • RE: Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales at Beijing, Shanghai stores

    So Apple [i]DOES[/i] care about the welfare of it's employees. That is refreshing as there have been more than a few accusations by the iHater trolls that claim otherwise - usually over some skewed Foxconn post.

    Yup Apple [i]could have[/i] made a profit, could have sold out their stock within minutes but chose the safety and well being of it's employees over making money.
    athynz