Apple postponed sales of its iPhone 4S in its mainland China stores Friday after angry customers threw eggs at the company’s flagship Beijing store when it didn’t open at 7 a.m., as scheduled, reports the “Associated Press” (http://macte.ch/NNHQS).
Hundreds of people had waited overnight in freezing weather at the store in the Sanlitun district on Beijing’s east side for a chance to buy the Apple smartphone, the article adds. Apple said it canceled the opening due to safety concerns about the crowd.
The company further says that the iPhone 4S will not be sold at its mainland China stores for the time being to protect the safety of customers and employees, notes the “AP.” However, the smartphone will still will be sold online and through its local carrier.
Apple should consider launching its products earlier in China, and expand its online distribution there, if it wants to avoid incidents, analysts told “PC World” (http://macte.ch/GmqvB).
“(Chinese consumers) want to have the gadget as soon as possible, they don’t want to wait,” Nicole Peng, a research director with analyst firm Canalys, said. “If Apple launches the products earlier, consumers don’t need to feel like, “I’m already late, I need to get it quicker.”
Mark Natkin, managing director for Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting, told “PC World” that Apple should consider focusing more on selling its products in China through online ordering as a way to temper the high demand.
“The reality of the market is that there is a limited supply of product. Apple might want to consider another sales approach,” he said. “Hopefully this incident will be a learning experience for them.”