iPhone 4S launch in China gets violent, Apple postpones sales

Apple was no doubt banking on the launch of the iPhone 4S in China being a success, but the launch didn’t quite turn out as hoped. According to various reports, violence erupted within crowds after the Apple store in Beijing failed to open on time, forcing Apple to postpone sales.

Many would-be customers eagerly waited outside the Apple store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district for their shot at being among the first in the nation to pick up their very own iPhone 4S, but things got out of hand quickly when the store remained unopened at 7 a.m., the advertised time.

Various reports indicate that fights broke out among gangs of scalpers, of irate customers flinging insults at one another, and even reports of egg-throwing. Fortunately, there aren’t any reports of any injuries at this time.

In a statement to AllThingsD, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that the launch of the iPhone 4S at that particular store has been postponed for the time being.

“The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible, and our stores in China have already sold out,” an Apple spokesperson told 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. Customers can still order iPhone through the Apple Online Store, or buy at China Unicom and other authorized resellers.”

You can check out a video of the irate crowd below.

Source: Bloomberg, AllThingsD

[Image credit: Feng Li/Getty Images]