The long-awaited iPhone 6 launch has created long queues in the five Asian markets where the phones are first being delivered to customers.
But at one of Apple’s three flagship stores in Hong Kong, the crowds got unruly this morning and police were called in to restore order after 20-30 people, who spent the night in the queue, were told none were available for those who hadn’t pre-ordered.
The South China Morning Post reported that the group rushed into the Festival Walk store when it opened and insisted they be sold a handset. When they were told walk-in sales weren’t offered, they became angry and complained that staff should have told them the night before and not allowed them to queue up.
It’s somewhat surprising the group didn’t realise they needed to pre-order, since the hundreds of others had and Apple websites had said preregistration was required.
Many of those in line were from the mainland, and perhaps couldn’t access Apple’s Hong Kong website.
The Post said that many of those picking up phones were immediately re-selling them outside the store for as much as double the retail price (HKD17,000 for the 6 Plus, $2,200).
With the iPhone 6 not available in China, a pickup in the grey-market trade between Hong Kong and China was inevitable.
Apple has still not announced when it will launch in China, but reports estimate up to two months as the phones wait for the necessary licences from Chinese authorities.