China goes crackers over iPad2

Friday's launch of the iPad 2 in mainland China led to chaos and violence according to several reports.

Although much of the information emerging is confused and contradictory, the general consensus is that a number of individuals with the intention of buying iPad 2s in order to resell them at inflated prices to people not in the line tried to strong-arm their way to the front of the queue.

A significant number of supposed 'eye witnesses' say that a foreigner, who may or may not have been an Apple employee, went all Bruce Lee on the scalping queue jumpers with an iron bar before disappearing back into the Beijing store.

At this point, according to some reports, a number of the beaten man's fellow fanbois attempted to force their way into the store to exact retribution, resulting in a $46,000 plate glass door being smashed and a number of further injuries.

Unconfirmed reports say that Apple paid the medical expenses of those injured.

Elsewehere in China the launch of the tablet device was characterised by mob-handed security goons, in some cases using dogs, shipped in by Apple to keep the crowds under control.

Apple has had a difficult time in China where suspicion of anything seen as American runs deep. But it seems that the iPad 2, which sold out in just four hours and attracted unprecedented queues, may have gone some way to removing the cultural barriers.

Apple hasn't said how many iPad 2s it sold on launch day in China but demand from the world's most dynamic and gadget-hungry emerging nation is bound to put huge amounts of additional pressure on the already stretched supply lines.

Sources: Geeky Gadgets, Apple Insider, TUAW, MacX.