UPDATE: All four Apple retail stores in China now require customer to show his/her identity card while purchasing the iPhone 4. Every customer could only purchase one iPhone 4. Apple employees will unbox the iPhone 4 for customers and activate the phone right away. So, the iPhone 4 scalpers could not resell the iPhone 4 as “brand new” and buy in large quantities. link
We reported earlier this month on the quaint habit of iPhone purchasing for a profit all across London, as various folk pick up units to send into the lucrative Chinese grey market for the device — today we learn that Apple had to close its Beijing Apple store yesterday because grey market buyers were sucking all the store’s supply.
Seems that Apple bumped up the sales limit on iPhone 4 from two to unlimited in Beijing’s flagship store, drawing an immediate huge crowd of eager customers — but these folks were buying iPhones in large quantities to resell on the grey market, which caused such a commotion security eventually shut AAPL’s flagship Chinese store down.
Customers were seen leaving the store with 20-30 iPhones all boxed-up, which they were then seen attempting to sell to passers-by.
Inside it was pandemonium, with customers waving their cash about, some jostling — even some fighting between grey market buyers and ‘real’ Apple customers.
Inevitably, the police were called.
Is it just me, or does this not remind you of the kind of activity you see for event tickets when an event is extremely popular? I would argue this Chinese grey market explosion should be seen as proof positive that Apple has an absolute hit on its hands with iPhone 4 in China.