back to article Apple Beijing store egged in botched iPhone 4S launch

Apple closed its flagship store in Beijing after frustrated fanbois rioted and pelted the windows with eggs when they were told the shop didn't have the iPhone 4S. A crowd of 500 people waited outside the Sanlitun Apple store in Beijing yesterday morning for the Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S, and the mood turned ugly when …


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  1. Thomas 18


    Does this mean that at every other Apple launch there's a guy with a couple of packs of eggs whose secretly disappointed because he couldn't use them? Or were the eggs sourced locally.

    1. Greg J Preece

      What it means is that one egg was thrown by one guy who came back an hour later, and this is reported as "mad crowd of unemployed anti-capitalist scumbags pelt shop with missiles".

    2. Michael Jennings

      It's China

      The mall in Sanlitun that contains the Apple store actually consists of two unconnected bits. Between them is a little street filled with bars, stalls in which guys sell you barbecued meat on skewers, and little stores selling all kinds of stuff, as is typical in China. I would be astonished if eggs cannot be sourced there.

      1. Richard Cartledge


        The eggs were complete with the customary foetus?

  2. Tiny Iota

    Things to take to an iPhone launch...

    Sleeping bag…check

    Thermal undies…check

    Another Apple product to while away the boredom and to show the bemused passers-by what they’re missing…check

    Eggs…just in case

  3. g e

    Oh dear me

    You weren't being in an Apple-approved manner so you're not fit to have our product.

    You watch Samsung airlift 1/2 million SG2's in later on today, and fair play to them if they do.

    1. Herba

      You obviously didnt saw the footage. They didnt open because the Police ask them for security reasons. And the problems came from the scalpers, not the fanbois.

      1. Lance 3

        No fanbois, no scalpers.

  4. defiler

    Eggs halt iPhone 4S

    Is this why it took 4 weeks to get my boss' 64GB 4S delivered? Should I not have posted that egg sandwich off with the order?

  5. Mondo the Magnificent


    ...if the store had opened and a stampede ensued, Apple would have been in a world of shit

    Quite often you see videos of just how barbaric humans beings can be stampeding and fighting with one another over hard to get or much reduced consumer items, so I think this was a case of damage control come prevention.

    1. LuMan
      Thumb Up


      Yep, totally agree. We've seen it before with 'must have' Christmas pressies (remember the Cabbage Patch fights?). Safest option - lockdown.

      1. Stevie


        Agree. Next time lockdown the grocery supply stores too.

    2. Lance 3

      We are talking about China and chances are, they would not be in a world of shit.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Google have Ice cream Sandwich

    Apple have an iPhone Omelette

    Mine is the one with the yolk book in the pocket.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Organised scalpers

    Blame the scalpers.

    You see it often enough over here, people paid to queue and buy up stock.

  8. Ralph B

    Store Closed?

    The poor lambs can still buy it online, Shirley?


  9. Greg J Preece

    What's most amusing to me about this is the difference between this article and the way the Beeb reported the same story. In theirs, the overnight wait isn't mentioned, their market share is "massive", etc.

    Mondo is right, though, you don't open the doors in those circumstances. When I was a PFY, I worked at IKEA, and we would occasionally hear of stampedes happening at other stores in response to offers. Off the top of my head, three people died in a crush at the Jeddah store, and the new London one had one too, though no-one was killed.

    Even at our Birstall store, I had to break up several fights in the years I worked there, with customers getting violent over stuff as stupid and inexpensive as candles.

    I seem to remember hearing about a new stampede a year or two ago. Evidently they haven't learned.

    1. Locky

      With customers getting violent

      I feel like that every time I go to IKEA to be fair....

      1. Greg J Preece

        Just gotta know the shortcuts, baby. ;-) What, you think the staff are gonna walk alllll the way round? Sod that. If you keep an eye out, hidden in the maddening floor plan are shortcut doors and alleys. At our store most people would take upwards of 45 minutes walking the route on a Sunday, but I could get across it in about a minute.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Everywhere that I have seen this story, TV & Internet, it was a factor of safety for patrons and staff, not lack of product. And the crowd did start to stampede. I don't think they got to a place where a lack of product was involved. So which is it, Lack of Stock or Humans Behaving Badly?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Apple closed its flagship store in Beijing after frustrated fanbois rioted and pelted the windows with eggs when they were told the shop didn't have the iPhone 4S."

    The other articles I read about this did not claim that the reason the fighting started was because the store did not have the phone, it was simply overcrowding.

    Who to believe?

  11. Drew V.

    Many, many things worth rioting about in China...

    ....but anything to do Apple products: without a doubt the poorest excuse under the Heavens.

  12. Sureo

    "black marketeers or scalpers"

    Or capitalists?

    1. Ru
      Big Brother

      You're on thin ice, sunshine.

      Next you'll admit to not knowing the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter, and then there'll be nothing for it but to pack you off to a re-education camp for the spring.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Big Brother

        The difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter.

        Depends entirely on two things:- (1) Time (2) The needs of the Author, for example;

        In 1985 Ronald Reagan praised CIA-funded afghan mujahideen as "freedom fighters and declared March 21st to be “Afghanistan Day” (Proclamation 4908), however within a few short years Clinton and Bush were referring to the mujahideen as terrorists.

        And this is not a particularly an American thing either, in WWII the Malaysians fighting along side the British against the Japanese they were freedom fighters, however when they wanted independence in the early 1950's they were terrorists.

        BB for the ministry of truth.

    2. Jedit Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      "Or capitalists?"

      I was thinking "staff", myself.

  13. twilkins

    Free publicity... the best kind ;-)

  14. Gashead


    When they do start selling it I suspect the Chinese fanbois will describe the voice control feature as "silly".

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a beat up

    I bet the crowd was whipped up by bad-eggs from the west until it cracked

    1. Drew V.

      Can't make an omelette from bad eggs without cracking the shells. The metaphor is also cracking up tho

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think the original story, posted on various Apple news sites, claims that the violence was started by rival groups of scalpers, and not by individuals looking to get a new iPhone.

    But still, when did the truth ever get in the way of a good Apple-bashing story?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      AFAIK never

      ... at least here at El-Reg


    2. Greg J Preece

      Scalpers != individuals looking to get a new iPhone...

      Though I do love your attempt to protect the illustrious name of fanbois everywhere. It's adorable. "It couldn't possibly be one of the churchgoers doing this! I'll bet those scalpers were Android users!"

  17. ItsNotMe

    This is so completely pathetic.

    All this crap over a stupid, fucking telephone? And not even a good one at that.

    What a sad world we live in.

    1. cjp39

      The iPhone does many things besides calls -- but fucking? Must have missed that on the feature list.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Don't worry...

        ...there's probably "an app for that" in there somewhere.

      2. Lance 3

        How could you have missed that feature. You are fucked as soon as you buy it; overpriced for what it does.

      3. Arctic fox

        @cjp39 I don't know, it would be pretty cool.

        You could install that app we read about recently where iPhone owners can send messages to announce the fact that they have just had sex and the phone could boast about its *own* performance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yousee...'ve got a thumbs down, not because you called people pathetic and sad for queing for hours in the freezing cold for a shiny thing they could easily get a week or so later,no! You dare called it not that good!

      Oh the irony.

  18. RyokuMas

    I'm in two minds...

    ... do I make some kind of snide comment regarding eggs and bird flu, or do I say that the better, more peaceful way to protest the situation would have been to go buy a WinPhone7 instead?

  19. chiller

    What a waste of eggs, I love them dippy style.

  20. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    crApple Addiction

    I think they should be queuing up for treatment at an addiction centre for addiction to shiny new crApple products. FFS, wait a couple of weeks, you have no problem getting one then, not unless somebody is manipulating the supply to hype demand.

    Suspicious? Moi, never.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The alternative?

      So what's your alternative, the hemorrDroid.

  21. Dana W


    The 4s a nice phone. I like mine a lot. But I just ordered one and they mailed it to me. NO phone is worth this level of fuss.

    I don't understand people standing in line, or this insane phone evangelism that seems so rampant now. No matter the OS or the hardware its just a PHONE! The pixie dust not wear off if you wait a week.

    If the newest phone is your biggest life crisis, you don't have any REAL problems.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Frumious Bandersnatch
    Big Brother

    damned method actors

    (I think there was a reg article about this, but 30s is my limit for submitting to search engines)

  24. Mephistro

    When people are treated like cattle...

    ...they tend to stampede. This kind of thing is -still- more common in China than in the West, but the way things are going, in a few years we'll be catching up.

    1. A 31

      When people act like cattle you mean

      Sorry, I just could never understand people queuing for a phone or game etc...

      so if you become cattle, don't be surprise to be treated alike.

      Grow some personality, forget the toys, and go for a walk, muse over the fact that the society you live in is becoming dumber by the minute, and that we are manufacturing even dumber kids ...

      downvote at will ^^

      1. Mephistro

        @ A 31

        "When people act like cattle you mean"

        Yeah, that too... Sort of a vicious circle.

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