Fri, January 13, 2012
Technology > Technology

Apple suspends sales of iPhone 4S at Beijing flagship store

2012-01-13 04:39:40 GMT2012-01-13 12:39:40(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Customers queue to buy the iPhone 4s at the Shanghai Apple Store in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 13, 2012, hours before its Chinese mainland release. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4s, which is scheduled to be released in China on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Customers queue to buy the iPhone 4s at the Shanghai Apple Store in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 13, 2012, hours before its Chinese mainland release. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4s, which is scheduled to be released in China on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Customers queue to buy the iPhone 4s at the Shanghai Apple Store in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 13, 2012, hours before its Chinese mainland release. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4s, which is scheduled to be released in China on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

A customer shows his iPhone 4S after making the purchase at the Shanghai Apple Store in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 13, 2012. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4s, which is scheduled to be released in China on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

People wait in line before the initial sales of the new iPhone 4S outside an Apple store in downtown Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 13, 2012. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4S, which is scheduled to be released in the Chinese mainland on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Liu Changlong)

People wait in line before the initial sales of the new iPhone 4S outside an Apple store in downtown Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 13, 2012. A large number of "Apple fans" waited in the queue in the early morning darkness on Friday for the upcoming Apple iPhone 4S, which is scheduled to be released in the Chinese mainland on Jan. 13. (Xinhua/Liu Changlong)

Customers wait in line to buy the new iPhone 4S at Apple's retail store in downtown Beijing, Jan 13, 2012, moments before the official release of iPhone 4S on the Chinese mainland. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Mobs of customers and organized scalpers forced Apple to suspend initial sales of its iPhone 4S smartphone at one of its two stores in downtown Beijing.

A salesperson at the company's store in the Sanlitun shopping district announced through a megaphone early Friday morning that the store would not open its doors, according to customer Wang Qiannan, who remained waiting outside of the store.

Wang said the store's staff did not explain why they were not opening, but suspects it was out of safety concerns.

At least 1,000 people who were hired by scalpers to stand in line and wait for the phone to go on sale were displeased with the decision to keep the store closed. A bag of broken eggs was found on the ground in front of the store and egg residue was seen on the store's glass walls.

A second Apple store located in the Xidan shopping district opened its doors shortly before 7:00 a.m. and sold its iPhone 4S stock within one hour.

Apple previously announced that the iPhone 4S, the latest version of the device, would be released in China and 21 other countries on Jan. 13.

The phone will be available at Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as through online retailers. One of China's largest online retailers, 360buy.com, had the phone available for purchase as of 10 a.m. Friday.

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