Beijing’s iPhone 4S turmoil a lesson to Apple, say analysts

“Apple should consider launching its products earlier in China, and expand its online distribution there, if it wants to avoid future displays of customer dissatisfaction like Friday’s egg throwing at a Beijing company store, according to analysts,” Michael Kan reports for IDG News.

“Following the incident, Apple said it will suspend its iPhone 4S sales at its five retails stores located in Beijing and Shanghai. The smartphone, however, is still on sale through the company’s online store and authorized retailers, such as China Unicom, the country’s official carrier of the Apple iPhone,” Kan reports. “Over the past few years, Apple has worked to expand its retail distribution in China to also include mainstream retailers in the country, said Nicole Peng, a research director with analyst firm Canalys. But many customers are still unaware of this, and believe they have to buy the company’s latest products from its official stores. ‘They can get the device from other outlets, rather than go to the main Apple store,’ she said. ‘What surprised me was many people didn’t get the message.'”

Kan reports, “On Friday morning, Apple’s store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district had more than 400 customers waiting to buy the iPhone 4S. Other Apple stores in China also had massive crowds waiting to buy the device, with Apple reporting selling out of the smartphone. Educating Chinese consumers on Apple’s other retail channels could help reduce the crowds at company stores, Peng said. But Apple could do even more by also releasing its latest devices at the same time as it does for it’s U.S. product launches, she added.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: They weren’t “customers,” they were scalpers! Sheesh.

We have one question that trumps all others: Who the heck goes to iPhone launch days with eggs in their pockets?

Related articles:
Beijing Apple Store pelted with eggs after iPhone 4S sales canceled due to scalper fights – January 12, 2012
Huge throng of red cap scalpers crushes Shanghai Apple Store for iPhone 4S launch (with photo) – January 12, 2012
Hong Kong scalpers buy up iPhone 4S and resell them for big profit outside Apple Store (with video) – November 12, 2011
Police, scalpers, and customers clash in iPhone 4S queues at Hong Kong Apple Store – November 10, 2011
iPad 2, white iPhone 4 sparks scuffle outside Beijing Apple Store – May 9, 2011
Apple takes steps to curb rampant iPhone 4 scalping in China – October 11, 2010
Apple shuts flagship Beijing store as scalpers sap store’s iPhone 4 supply – September 30, 2010

30 Comments

    1. You are correct. IDG news apparently does not have the time to report accurate news nor sensible suggestions. Such inaccuracies as this give us readers the knowledge of what “news” agencies to trust and use.

    1. Even the best way to do can’t be simply applied, as is, anywhere. There is no global solution (for absolutely nothing). Whatever it might be, everything has to be adapted to it’s milieu.

    1. Don’t be givin’ Microfool any ideas, now, I’d hate to see rioting at any of them fine stores they got, for the purpose of jackin’ up cred. Better to keep bribing pubbies & baristas with Miley Cyrus tickets and such like

    1. “Educating Chinese consumers on Apple’s other retail channels could help reduce the crowds at company stores, Peng said.”

      Peng was not paying attention. The iPhones being sold from the Apple stores are UNLOCKED. Other retail channels sell locked iPhones.

      That is way the scalpers want them so badly. The phones can be resold because they will run on the other networks/phone companies that do not offer the iPhone.

  1. Reasonably complete articles manage to include the fact that the Beijing line was composed mostly of scalpers’ agents waiting to grab the bulk of the stock and turn it around to the black/grey market.

  2. So analysts can sh_t a phone out of their ass when needed?

    I am beginning to wonder if having target practice with analysts would be more fun than with old pop cans.

  3. Lesson to Apple about what? How scalpers act like wild animals! I don’t see a connection here at all. If the people are going to act like spoiled brats how can Apple control that in any way? Launching the product earlier wouldn’t have helped if that was there mentality to begin with.

  4. The problem is that scalpers want the Apple Store iPhone model that they can resell, unlocked, around the country in 2nd-tier cities for a huge markup. Real iPhone buyers could have bought their official iPhones 4S online at midnight, 8 hours earlier than the retail rollout. I doubt more than 10% of the mob were actual customers. Most were just scalper hires.

  5. “We have one question that trumps all others: Who the heck goes to iPhone launch days with eggs in their pockets?”

    One idiot of the kind you see at global conferences in places like London and Seattle. Those guys carry stones, loot stores and start riots. This fellow just wanted to make a “splash”.

    As for scalpers, I don’t think it is Apple’s place, role or in its best interests to specify (which it cannot, anyway) which type of customers should be lining up to buy its products.

    1. I hope this was meant as a sardonic joke. China and Korea have enough problems with their corrupt cultures and governments without throwing racism and ignorance at them. I’d like to see a ‘Jasmine Spring’ in both countries if only to restore respect from the rest of the world.

  6. Apple should consider launching its products earlier in China, and expand its… blahblahblah

    Apple should simply turn its back on China, the source of many Apple problems. This entire iPhone 4S sales problem had NOTHING to do with Apple and everything to do with the fact that China is a criminal nation. It was SCALPERS who hired GANGS of migrant workers to buy up masses of iPhones who caused this entire problem. Why the hell is anyone ‘analyzing’ that Apple has to change its sane methods to fit an insane nation of crooks. (Albeit inevitable that communist nations force citizen criminality if only to inspire personal incentive). China: Hellhole.

    1. You nailed it.

      Since the Chinese “government” plays by its own rules it appears that some of their worst “citizens” just follow suit.

      That country is a communist (capital c intentionally not used) failure and a complete mess.

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