Fights have reportedly broken out between hundreds of fanboys and scalpers lined up outside Beijing’s main Apple store for the Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S. The crowd started shouting “LIARS!”, eggs were pelted, and the SWAT team were called to bring the situation under control. And here we were thinking that the midnight launches we have here in Australia were crazy.
The main Beijing Apple store failed to open its doors at the advertised time of 7am and seriously pissed off the crowds, forcing the SWAT team to be called in and Apple making the decision to cancel the launch at that particular store altogether. Chinese media is reporting that the vast majority of customers are scalpers working in organised groups.
Last year, violence also broke out when China released the iPad 2 in China. It seems like Apple needs to figure out a better way to do this. Maybe not making them wait months after the product launches in the rest of the world would be a start. [MacRumors, Bloomberg, MIC Gadget, Apple Insider]