Apple’s planned Chinese iPhone 4S launch was marred by an unexpected delay, leading to angry crowds and vandalism. Bloomberg reports that a crowd of shoppers outside Apple’s main store in Beijing began pelting the store with eggs after a man announced that the phone would not go on sale today. The announcement came roughly 15 minutes after the store was scheduled to open, giving the crowd—which was waiting in sub-20 degree temperatures, and began chanting “Open the door!” and “Liars!”—no explanation for the delay. The delay was not country-wide, however, as Apple’s store in Shanghai opened an hour earlier than scheduled to begin selling the device.

Update: Apple has since released a statement on the matter. “The demand for iPhone 4S has been incredible and our stores in China have already sold out,” an Apple spokeswoman told Reuters. “Unfortunately, we were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd. And to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees, iPhones will not be available in our retails stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being.”

Charles Starrett

Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.