Friday the 13th did not play well for Apple today, as the company suspended the sale of its iPhone 4S smartphones in its Chinese retail outlets.
Earlier today, a legion of scalpers waiting in line had a few fierce conflicts at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing. This apparently caused Apple to announce that they would no longer release the iPhone 4S on January 13, 2012.
Apple said in a statement that the demand for the iPhone 4S were beyond imagination. So far, its iPhone 4S products in retail stores in China have all sold out. Meanwhile, due to the large crowd in Sanlitun, its retail store there cannot operate normally for the sake of safety of its customers and staff. Temporarily, its iPhone products will not be sold in retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai. However, customers can book the products via Apple's Internet store, buy it from its operator partner China Unicom or from other authorized resellers.
Apple announced plans to start selling the iPhone 4S in mainland China from January 13, 2012, and the recommended retail prices are CNY4,988 for 16GB edition, CNY5,888 for 32GB, and CNY6,788 for 64GB. The new smartphones were all sold out in Apple Store in Xidan Joy City within one hour after the release; and the sales in Sanlitun store was cancelled due to consumer conflicts, including the throwing of eggs at the Apple store.
At the same time, China Unicom's Internet business hall and Chinese electronics retailers like Gome and Suning started the sales of iPhone 4S on the same date. For e-commerce websites in China, 360buy.com and Dangdang.com sold the smartphones as well.