Shoppers Get Even With Apple For Pushing Back iPhone 4S Sale Date By Way Of An Egg Storm

Built up expectations boiled over into an all out egg fight, complete with shoving matches, when Apple’s Beijing store told customers they wouldn’t be selling the iPhone 4S as scheduled. You keep people away from their shiny toys, and that’s what you get — food rage.

Reuters says an announcer told crowds over a bullhorn at 7 a.m. that the phones wouldn’t be available as planned, and that everyone should just go home. Tensions quickly rose and tempers boiled over between the shoppers, many of whom had waited overnight in the cold, and security staff. Police dragged some shoppers away.

Then there was the guy with the bag of eggs, captured in photos circulating the blogosphere, who reportedly started handing out the edible missiles for his fellow disgruntled shoppers to heave at the store’s windows.

“We’re suffering from cold and hunger,” a man in his 20s shouted to Reuters Television. “They said they’re not going to sell to us. Why? Why?”

Apple is retaliating for the eggfest by halting all retail sales of the iPhone in China for now, although customers can still buy the phones online or at official Apple resellers.

“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, the iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being,” Apple said in a statement.

Everyone was well-behaved at Apple’s other store in Beijing and three in Shanghai, where the iPhones quickly sold out.

iPhone sales halted after shoppers pelt Apple store [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Well, this was a well-thought-out and reasonably mature response by all parties involved.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Here here! Reginald, what say we go sally-forth and enjoy a rousing game of croquet and then perhaps relax listen to my Edison Phonograph? I have a new wax recording from those jolly chaps in the Wu-Tang Clang!

      • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

        Oh very good, sir! But nothing too up-beat, you understand? I fear the ladies present might develop a case of the vapors should I exhibit my remarkable dancing prowess.

  2. BrownLeopard says:

    Sheeple comments in 3….2….1…

  3. MerlynNY says:

    “We’re suffering in cold and hunger” That seems to be by choice so you can get your grubby little hands around an iphone. Go home, eat a sammich and either order the thing online, or wait a few weeks. Jeez. I love having all the latest and greatest technology, but I’m not the one freezing my ass off and starving to get at it.

    • cosmic.charlie says:

      Or how about eat the food instead of throwing it at the store? Cold and hungry? Not anymore, just cold.

  4. ScarletAnn says:

    Well of course they were hungry, they throw their breakfast at the store.

  5. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Would have been more appropriate to use rotten apples.

    Just saying.

  6. Lyn Torden says:

    “Everyone was well-behaved at Apple’s other store in Beijing and three in Shanghai, where the iPhones quickly sold out.”

    That’s because people can tell the difference between being sold out because there are too many people, and Apple just being stupid and not selling them at all because there are too many people.

    • red says:

      The reason Apple didn’t sell them at that store was because scalpers started getting into fights, and the SWAT team was called because of the large crowds. If Apple had opened the store when there was already violence outside, there could have been real craziness.

  7. Karney says:

    “We’re suffering from cold and hunger,” a man in his 20s shouted to Reuters Television.

    I wouldn’t call it suffering if they did it by choice. Perhaps its time to rethink your life when you choose to suffer over being first in line for a phone.

    • scoosdad says:

      My favorite part of that quote was “they’re not going to sell to us. Why? Why?”

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

  8. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    They act as though the cold and hunger weren’t their own choice. So, basically, they are throwing eggs because they chose to wait overnight in the cold like a bunch of idiots, then they didn’t get their new shiny thing.

  9. jspeciner says:

    Love the irony… Designed by Apple in California, Made in China – but uhhh…

  10. jspeciner says:

    Love the irony… Designed by Apple in California, Made in China – but uhhh…

  11. jspeciner says:

    Love the irony – Designed by Apple in California, Made in China, but uhhh…

  12. jspeciner says:

    Ooops. Sorry for the comment spam -___-

  13. prosumer1 says:

    Why panic? You can walk down the alley way a few steps away from the Apple Store and buy a knockoff for much less. No, it doesn’t run on Mac OS, but they call it an iPhone anyway.

    Oh, and by the way, for those of you who have been, or will be going to Beijing, there are more than just one Apple Store, more like 5000 of them. If you go to their electronics row, everyone and their mother runs an “Authorized Apple Retailer.”

    The Chinese. What a bunch of degenerates.

  14. chizu says:

    I’m surprised there weren’t any hawkers around selling food and snacks to the people in line. It is China after all, street vendors are everywhere.

    Also *insert snarky comments about Chinese*

  15. chizu says:

    Just a side comment — so I saw the nickname/slang for iPhone in Chinese, it’s pronounced like “iPhone”. However, it literally means “Love Crazy/Mad”, which is highly appropriate for those who are obsessed with this accessory…

  16. Firevine says:

    “We’re suffering from cold and hunger,”

    Oh, too bad there wasn’t anything there for you to eat, like eggs or anything.

  17. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Good to know that Apple consumers in China are just as mind-bendingly moronic as they are in the states. I think.

    • MMD says:

      Did you know that knee-jerk biases are just as irrational?

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Yes. Which is why I only form opinions based on years of observations and collection of relevant data. You should try it some time.

        • MMD says:

          You’ve willfully missed my point. What a surprise.

          When your opinion leads to smug condescension and a compulsion to click through and comment on stories about products you don’t like, your behavior is just as moronic as that which you criticize.

          No one cares what technology you use, like or dislike.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        Making a judgement based on easily observed behavior of a certain group of like-minded people is not a “knee-jerk reaction”.

  18. gman863 says:

    It would have been even funnier if they had behaved long enough to get into the store then started tossing. Apple would have truly ended up with egg on its face.

  19. red says:

    Consumerist forgot to report that fighting broke out BEFORE the store opened, so yes, Apple made a correct but unpopular decision to not let a large crowd of potentially rioting people into a high end electronics store.

  20. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    I’m even an Apple fan, but what the hell? It’s a consumer product that they will make more of. The world is not going to end because you have to wait a few days or weeks. You WILL eventually be able to buy one.

    I almost understand it for video games, where’s there’s the aspect of being at a competitive advantage by having it earlier, but for most consumer items, I can’t imagine the benefits of early ownership outweighing the inconvenience of camping out overnight.

  21. Kuri says:

    As bad as people getting shot over the Ps3.

  22. earhere says:

    let’s take a brief moment for the facts. check out:
    Seems that competing teams of migrant workers that had been brought in by scalpers with the offer of 100 renminbi IF they managed to snag a phone. Things got unruly outside. The police requested that Apple not open their stores and they complied.
    The rest is the result of cross-border limitations in accurate reporting…IMHO.

    • MacUser1986 says:

      It makes you think what people would do if a real emergency happened like a food famish.

      Humans + “Toys” = Wild Animals

  23. MacUser1986 says:

    “We’re suffering from cold and hunger.”

    And you’re only concern is a “toy” you don’t really need?