January 13, 2012
Apple Stop Sale Of iPhone 4S In China Due To Unruly Crowd
Apple launched the iPhone 4S in China on Friday, but an incident has led the technology giant to suspend sales of the device in five retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
The iPhone 4S caused a near-riot in one of Apple's Beijing retail stores as customers egged one of the stores after the company canceled the device's launch due to concerns over the crowd's size. The phone will still be sold online and through its local carrier.
Hundreds of customers waited overnight in freezing weather at the Apple store in Beijing's east side Sanlitun district.
The crowd started to get unruly after the store failed to open on schedule, and some threw eggs while chanting "open the door!" and "Liars!".
The Washington Post reported that afterwards, a person with a megaphone announced the sale was canceled.
A SWAT team then arrived to order the crowd to leave, and an employee posted a sign saying the iPhone 4S was out of stock.
"The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible and our stores in China have already sold out," an Apple spokeswoman said.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd. And to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees, iPhones will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being," Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said in a statement.
Bloomberg reported that the crowd chunking eggs at the store was of about 500 people.
Apple said customers would still be able to order the iPhone 4S through its website or through carrier partner China Unicom.
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