A brawl at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing saw many injured, property damaged.
Apple product launches are always meet with frenzied fans queuing up for days to ensure a purchase on day one. When Apple launched the iPad 2 in China yesterday, it was no different than any other launch. There was a massive build up, with thousands of excited customers eager to get their hands on Apple’s latest device.
However, an apparent stock shortage, coupled with extreme heat, saw customers lashing out against employees in anger and frustration. Details are scarce on what happened next, but according to a report from 9to5 Mac, Apple employees, who were armed with “iron rods”, broke out into a brawl with many customers, injuring them to an extent where they had to hospitalized. 9to5Mac has pictures from the incident, though we should warn you against the graphic nature of the images.
“According to my friend who was at the Sanlitun Apple Store when the incident took place, there were dozens of resellers outside the store trying to get the white iPhone 4, they were told to wait in line and was not allowed to go inside. Resellers got pissed and smashed the glass door, which costs about 300,000RMB or 46,000USD, according to an apple employee at the store. Then a foreign(non-Chinese) employee came out from the store with a metal club and hit 4 people, including 2 young men and 2 middle age women. All 4 people are hospitalized right now and no money was paid by apple for medical purposes.” Said an eyewitness.
Long lines and frustrated customers are to be expected at any high-profile launch event, but being armed and ready to assault is truly shocking. Apple has yet to issue an official statement.