The long anticipated launch of Apple's
iPhone 4S device in mainland China was cut short after the crowd turned violent. About a thousand people lined up for hours to buy the new iPhone model, some of which waited all night long in freezing weather conditions to be among the first in Apple's Sanlitun store in Beijing. Trouble began when the store didn't open on time.
According to AllThingsD, some people in the crowd began to fight with each other, scream out obscenities, and throw eggs, prompting Apple's decision not to sell the 4S at any of its retail locations in Beijing and Shanghai.
"The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible, and our stores in China have already sold out," and Apple spokesman told AllThingsD. "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 be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being."
Apple said customers can still order the iPhone 4S through its online store or through China Unicom and other authorized resellers.
"We waited here all night. It's not fair," said 18-year-old Tom Sun, according to an AFP report
. "We're angry because this American company told us it would open its doors at 7:00 AM."
This isn't the first time an Apple launch has been met with unruly crowds in China. When the iPad 2 debuted in May 2011, four people were hospitalized and a glass door shattered as people rushed to get their hands on the device.