Apple suspends iPhone sales in China

The New York Times:

Apple said in a statement that it had temporarily suspended sales of all iPhones at its five mainland China stores for the safety of customers and employees. The phones will still be offered online, through Apple’s official partner, Unicom, and at authorized resellers. The statement did not say when Apple stores would resume selling the iPhone 4S.

The crowd threw eggs at the store when it didn’t open. Who goes to buy a phone with a pocket full of eggs?

  • You have a point there.

    I’ll bet some enterprising fellow set up a little egg cart right outside the store.

    There are opportunists everywhere.

  • Poultry farmers?

  • Anonymous

    There were fights between the customers and the identified scalpers in the lines overnight. Pretty easy to figure out having someone bring you some eggs from home to toss at the scalpers (or in retaliation from the scalpers) and then to turn them on the store when it didn’t open. 

    Frankly I think that Apple should leave in store sales suspended in China. It’s not worth the risk of violence from the lines. You want it on contract you go to the carrier. You want it full price you order online and be done with it. 

  • Anonymous

    I love how the media tries to spin this as Apple’s fault when in reality it’s the fact that people in China don’t understand the concept of lining up for anything (if you’ve been there you know what I’m talking about). Add the scalpers and their migrant lacky’s into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for trouble as evidenced by almost every Apple product launch in the PRC.

    People can sulk about not being allowed to buy their phone, but that’s probably preferable to being trampled by a horde of over-eager customers. If they want to pelt anyone with eggs they should probably start with the scalpers.

    Apple is right to suspend sales at the Beijing and Shanghai stores. If the locals can’t behave and risk the safety of themselves and others as a result then Apple is fully justified refusing to open the store for safety and security reasons.

    After all, we want to leave the stampedes and riots for the RIM product releases don’t we?

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t know that “lining up” or queuing is not part of Chinese culture but I find it believable because I’ve lived in a European country where the people especially the older ones, had no concept of queuing. That being said its important for Apple to understand the culture they’re selling in. In the west long lines for Apple’s products are brilliant publicity but as this has turned out to be a nightmare of publicity. Apple’s management somewhere along the line should have questioned the logistics. Hopefully lessons will be learned.

  • It’s sad to me that people turn to caveman mentality over a damn phone.