Hundreds Lining Up for iPhone 4S at Chinese Apple Stores

With close to twelve hours still to go until opening time, Tech in Asia reports that Apple's five retail stores in China are seeing huge lines for the iPhone 4S, with stores said to already be seeing hundreds of people in line.

At the two stores in Beijing, and the three in Shanghai, there are clearly lines stretching hundreds of meters, with reports of hundreds of queuers at each, snaking around city blocks (see more photos below). Most stores have a ticketing system to deter queue-jumpers, but that won’t stop the ‘scalpers’ who buy the phones to resell later at a profit.

apple store xidan joy city iphone 4s
Apple's Xidan Joy City store in Beijing

The report notes that Apple's iPhone partner China Unicom will begin selling the iPhone 4S online at 12:01 AM, but that there is undoubtedly significant interest in unlocked devices sold directly from Apple. Pricing is set at the equivalent of $790/$932/$1,074 for the three capacities of unlocked iPhone 4S models.

apple store pudong iphone 4s
Apple's Pudong store in Shanghai

For those customers willing to sign up for a contract with China Unicom, the carrier is offering the iPhone 4S for free under certain rate plans and contract lengths.

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Top Rated Comments

betab Avatar
162 months ago
Haven't they seen the Samsung commercials? :rolleyes:
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cvaldes Avatar
162 months ago
Wasn't this phone supposed to be a disappointment/letdown/anticlimactic event?
Only to the people who can't see the big picture.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
162 months ago
Wasn't this phone supposed to be a disappointment/letdown/anticlimactic event?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
162 months ago
Anyone ever see a line like that for an Android phone outside a Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T store? Just curious.

That kind of mindshare has to be earned. It doesn't appear out of thin air. And it took Apple years of fine-tuning vertical integration (which also helped them achieve radical differentiation.) You can market the hell out of your product but if there is nothing behind it, it won't do any good. Certainly not in today's market.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
linux2mac Avatar
162 months ago
Anyone ever see a line like that for an Android phone outside a Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T store? Just curious.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thewitt Avatar
162 months ago
The clone phones do not work as well as the original, and there are plenty of people in China with money to buy a real iPhone.

China will be the largest iPhone market in a very short time.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)