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.