Fights halt iPhone 4S launch in Beijing
Apple's iPhone 4S has caused riots in China with the handset's official launch being marred by brawls outside the company's flagship Beijing store
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The planned iPhone 4S release in China saw frantic scenes this morning with Apple calling off the launch at its flagship Beijing store after brawls broke out between security guards and the throng of people queuing to snap up the company’s latest pocket blower.
With fights breaking out and eggs being hurled at the front of the store Apple made the call to suspend sales of the iPhone 4S at its store in Beijing’s high-end Sanlitun district with many of the customers lining up in below freezing conditions reported working for touts looking to make money selling the in demand devices on at high resale prices.
“I got in line around 11pm, and beyond the line the plaza was chock full with people," 26-year old Huang Xiantong told The Guardian. "Around 5am the crowds in the plaza broke through and the line disappeared entirely. Everyone was fighting, several people were hurt. The police just started hitting people. They were just brawling."
Apple’s other Beijing store reportedly sold out of its 2,000 strong allocation of the latest iPhone by 9am leaving further potential customers left disappointed.
Responding to the launch fiasco Apple issued an official statement. "The demand for the iPhone 4S has been incredible and our stores in China have already sold out," the statement read. "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 the iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.”
Have you ever queued up overnight outside one of Apple’s iconic stores in order to snap up the latest product? Let us know via the comments box below.