Feeds

Hong Kongers fight for right to stand in line for iPhone 4S

Foreign pro queuers face wrath of indigenous amateurs

The Power of One Infographic

Apple's Hong Kong store appeared to have banned the traditional queue fest ahead of its launch of the iPhone 4S this weekend, after "tongue fights" between "professional" queuers and their amateur counterparts threatened to get much nastier.

The queueing "ban" came after a day of rising tensions, which culminated in police "evacuating" the hundreds-strong line – which had extended right across a pedestrian footbridge.

The device is meant to go on sale at the weekend, but by Tuesday iOS fans obediently began lining up outside the former crown colony's newly minted AppleStore.

However, according to MICgadget.com South Asia "professional queuers" attempted to "barge" to the front of the line around noon.

The pro queuers are not being paid by Apple to create the usual fuss about a product launch, but are rather the sharp end of the grey market, snaffling up the devices – Apple has a limit of five per person – and reselling for a (even) higher price. Apparently the going rate for queuing is HKD500 (£40.37) a day.

MICgadget said the initial bargers had "a tongue fight" with the amateurs around noon, with the interlopers threatening to call in "hundreds of south Asian men to chase" the locals away.

This reportedly, "triggered many Hong Kongers’ madness". There were calls from locals to form a sort of popular militia of blue-shirted amateur queuers to see off the invading pros.

Police were called, prompting the departure of the invaders. However, once the police disappeared, they simply returned.

The ongoing skirmishing, and the accumulating "rubbishes", prompted police to clear the area completely by Wednesday evening, leaving HK-based Apple fans apparently bereft of that most basic tenet of democratic capitalism – the human right to stand in line for days on end to buy some Apple stuff.

However, according to AppleInsider, a more organised queue with "stricter enforcement" was back in place on Thursday, meaning Hong Kongers will not be deprived of the privilege of standing in line to buy commoditised electronics from Apple. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.