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Crowds swarm store in search of iPhone 4

[ 2010-09-27 10:53]     字号 [] [] []  
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Minor scuffles erupted outside Apple's flagship store in Beijing during the weekend as thousands of customers lined up to purchase the hotly anticipated iPhone 4.

Some would-be buyers waited all night for the chance to buy the equipment, and a few anxious people lost their cool, causing police to be called to the store in Sanlitun Village.

It was the first time that the fourth version of the popular handset has been officially available on the Chinese mainland.

A number of people camped overnight while others waited in line for hours in order to be among the first in China to buy the phone, which went on sale in the capital on Saturday. Lines wrapped around the Apple store and filled much of the popular shopping plaza.

Police officers with dogs were on hand to keep the peace after minor tussles broke out over people cutting in line.

"This whole area has been crazy. I saw people already lined up outside the store Friday night and it grew considerably on Saturday," said local Victor Rowse.

Toward the end of the line, Kenyan Nimo Wanjau shuffled along with the rest of the crowd, waiting patiently as the line slowly shifted forward. Wanjau had been waiting for only one hour, and was excited at the prospect of getting her hands on the latest iPhone.

Also waiting in line were people who had been paid by others to shop. One man told Beijing News he could get 50 yuan for each iPhone he purchased.

Late on Sunday, as the lines shrank, Apple Inc was refusing to say how many phones were sold during the weekend. Calls to the company's PR and corporate offices went unanswered and the manager of its Beijing branch refused to confirm any figures.

But one employee told METRO: "We've sold thousands and thousands."

In addition to launching the iPhone 4, Apple opened two new stores, one in Beijing's Joy City Shopping Mall and another in Shanghai, doubling the number of branches on the Chinese mainland.

Joy City in Xidan and The Village were not the only places people headed for in search of the device. More than 200,000 units were ordered through one of China's primary phone service providers - China Unicom, according to a statement by the company.

While many people were in good spirits despite queuing for hours to buy a new phone, some were frustrated after picking the wrong day to shop for other Apple products.

"I only need a new power cord for my laptop," said Chase Broderick, who had been waiting in line for more than four hours.

The iPhone 4, which was launched in the US and UK in June, costs 4,999 yuan for the 16 GB model and 5,999 yuan for the 32 GB version. Its latest features include a five-megapixel camera, FaceTime video chat software and a brand-new operating system.

Wireless Internet, a feature previously unavailable in China on the 3G phone, is also available on the new models.


1. What was the big weekend event at the Apple store?

2. How long did customers have to wait?

3. How many phones were sold?


1. New iPhone 4 went on sale Saturday.

2. Some waited all night, some waited in line for hours, and a few people lost their cool, causing police to be called to the store in Sanlitun Village.

3. Apple Inc refused to say how many phones were sold during the weekend, but one employee at the store said, "We've sold thousands and thousands."


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Crowds swarm store in search of iPhone 4

About the broadcaster:

Crowds swarm store in search of iPhone 4

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is fluent in Korean and has a 2-year-old son.