updated 12:20 am EDT, Sun May 8, 2011
iPad 2 launch turns violent at Beijing Apple Store
Apple's high-demand Chinese iPad 2 launch was partly soured after local reports of a fight at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing. Descriptions of the event vary, but one Sina account claimed that at least one attempt to jump the queue caused commotion after security staff tried to maintain order. Both a Chinese man and a foreigner, "John," got into a fight that broke the glass door.
Confusion persisted over who the Chinese man was, though one report identified him as a self-identifying unemployed man who might have been scalping iPads to earn money. At least one Apple employee might have been involved in this account.
Order was restored, but the fight temporarily disrupted the store and and was restored before the evening. Shoppers who were inside when the scrap broke out were asked to exit through the back door. Four customers, two younger men and two middle-aged women, were hurt during the incident, which will have cost Apple about $4,620 to replace the glass door by itself.
Apple hadn't yet come forward to say whether any of its own staff were involved or otherwise to have given its version of events.
The company has had little trouble queuing large lines and managed rapid sell-outs for the iPad 2 as well as for the iPhone 4. Each launch, however, has been clouded by scalpers either in the line or just outside the store that triggered outrage from those who had waited for hours to get devices for themselves. Until now, tension had never reached the point of violence. [via AppleInsider]