With the high demand for the latest iPhone far outweighing supply, 'scalpers' have been cashing-in on Apple fans' desperation to get their hands on an iPhone 4S; Apple has responded by instigating a completely new sales system in Hong Kong where the problem is rife.
In order to deter these practices, Apple has introduced a lottery system for customers, PC Mag reports. Apple's new strategy for the Hong Kong market lets customers reserve an iPhone, by submitting their information on a designated webpage which includes a government-issued ID number.
Customers can only request the desired iPhone during the hours of 9 a.m. and noon each day. Those who are successful receive an email by 9 o'clock that evening. The lucky customers who are issued with a reservation are informed to come and pick up their iPhone 4S on a specific day and hour.
Before this system was introduced, Apple sold the iPhones on a first-come-first-served basis, which encouraged profit orientated buyers to gain some undeserved income. iPhone 4S has been available in Hong Kong since the end of last November; troubles have been apparent in China ever since the first day of availability, when riots started in front of Apple Stores.
At the beginning of this year, sales were suspended in Beijing and Shanghai due to large, unruly crowds, with an Apple Store being bombarded by eggs in the ensuing chaos.