iPhone to customers: please call again
Updated: 2012-01-14 07:31
By Wang Huazhong, Shen Jingting and He Wei (China Daily)
Teams wearing ribbons or carrying stools of the same color also bagged the smartphones in Shanghai's stores.
A man surnamed Xiong in his 50s at the Nanjing Road store in Shanghai said they came as a group of 31 people. He and his companions are farmers from East China's Anhui province. A "boss" hired them.
People queuing outside the Apple store in Sanlitun, Beijing, quarrel with security personnel. [Wang Jing / China Daily]
"None of us actually know what an iPhone 4S really is. None of us need it," he said.
The large number of scalpers leaves little chance for iPhone fans, who brought food and tents with them as they waited outside the Sanlitun store overnight. They returned empty handed.
Zheng Shen, 24, a computer programmer who joined the line in Sanlitun at 11 pm on Thursday, blamed the store for doing a "lousy" job as it failed to keep the line in shape and tackle scalpers.
"I was honestly standing in the line for such a long time, but got nothing. It's unfair."
Xiang Ligang, a Beijing-based telecom expert who runs a Web portal about the telecom industry, said Apple has achieved what it wanted during the iPhone 4S launch.
"Apple has attracted enough attention as thousands of people scrambled for its products on the streets - the chaos is exactly what Apple wants," he said.
China Unicom, the sole Chinese telecom operator selling iPhone products on contract, said on Tuesday that people can book an iPhone 4S through its website. The carrier offers free delivery of the handset.
Apple sold 5.6 million iPhones in China in the first nine months of last year, giving it a 10.4 percent share of China's smartphone market in the third quarter, according to research company Gartner Inc. Its Chinese performance lagged behind South Korea's Samsung Group and Finland's Nokia Corp.