updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Company works to deter scalpers, lineups
Apple is sticking to a recent reservation system for the Hong Kong launch of the new iPad. According to Apple's website, shoppers will be able to register starting the morning of the 15th local time, and pick up an iPad the next day at the IFC Mall Apple Store. Signs spotted by Engadget warn people not to line up, informing them that "Apple will not serve on a first come first serve basis for new ipad [sic]."
In February Apple adopted a similar system for the iPhone 4S in Hong Kong, coinciding with a brief suspension of sales in mainland China. The company has struggled to deal with scalpers in the region, who will regularly buy as much stock as possible before regular shoppers can get access. In some instances scalpers have been linked to violence around Chinese Apple Stores.
Engadget notes that in spite of the signs at the IFC Mall, and even police requests to leave, scalpers have still been trying to line up. For gray-market vendors scalping Apple products can be a lucrative business, owing to the high markups some people are willing to pay.