iPhone 4S China Debut Turns Violent - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
1/13/2012
09:06 AM
50%
50%

iPhone 4S China Debut Turns Violent

Apple halts sales of the iPhone 4S at its retail stores in China, as angry would-be buyers egg its flagship store in Beijing

10 Top iOS 5 Apps
10 Top iOS 5 Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Pent-up demand for the iPhone 4S in China led to trouble at the device's launch Friday. Apple was prepared to open doors at its main Beijing Apple Store at 7 a.m. local time to start selling the device. Customers waited overnight in temperatures that dropped below 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the store didn't open on time, the crowd got angry. They demanded that the store open, yelled "Liars!" and later threw eggs at the store. The local police were eventually forced to intervene and push the crowd back.

Apple then decided it would not sell the iPhone 4S at any of the five stores it operates in China.

"The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible, and our stores in China have already sold out," an Apple spokesman said to 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 available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being."

[ Phone makers are answering consumers' demands for faster wireless. Read LTE 4G Dominates CES. ]

That doesn't mean the iPhone 4S won't be available to Chinese consumers.

"Customers can still order iPhone through the Apple Online Store, or buy at China Unicom and other authorized resellers," said Apple.

According to witness accounts reported by Bloomberg, there was a lot of anger about how the launch was--er, wasn't--executed.

One Shanghai shopper told Bloomberg that the iPhone 4S was sold out an hour before store doors opened. The Apple store in Xidan dispersed more than 1,000 tickets to those waiting in line. Perhaps most interesting, Bloomberg spoke to migrant workers who were hired by resellers to line up for and buy the iPhone 4S at the main Beijing store. The migrant workers, bused in from the suburbs, waited 12 hours in the cold and were unable to buy the device at all. Though they received a small allowance for the day, they were not paid the $19 promised to them because they couldn't buy the phones.

For the time being, Chinese consumers will have to rely on Apple's website and China Unicom in order to purchase the iPhone 4S. Hopefully, Apple's retail operations will learn something from this failed debut.

InformationWeek is conducting our third annual State of Enterprise Storage survey on data management technologies and strategies. Upon completion, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple iPad 2. Take our Enterprise Storage Survey now. Survey ends Jan. 13.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Tronman
50%
50%
Tronman,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2012 | 6:03:41 PM
re: iPhone 4S China Debut Turns Violent
They yelled "Liars"? Why were they speaking English instead of Mandarin?
iPhoned
50%
50%
iPhoned,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2012 | 4:02:16 PM
re: iPhone 4S China Debut Turns Violent
Apple speak: " to ensure the safety of our customers and employees,"
Translated: " to protect the financial interests of the company, we let the Chinese masses riot outside, after pumping up a product release and then creating a situation"

Apple outsourced first to Malaysia after the Pop-Bottle Brass fired Steve.

Damn him for becoming a typical Multinational CEO on using 3rd world slave labor and not insourcing to America.
kappadon
50%
50%
kappadon,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2012 | 3:57:06 PM
re: iPhone 4S China Debut Turns Violent
Why are these people fighting over the IPhone, don't they know they can get a Cheap Imitation by buying a Android Device, what is going on, China has to have the buy one android get 3 free, haven't they heard Android Rules or Could it be that they know something we don't like Android Sucks, I will investigate.
Commentary
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
News
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
Slideshows
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll