Last year, Apple took it upon themselves to avoid any incidents that could plague the iPhone 4S release in Hong Kong. At the time, thousands of consumers gathered in front of the Apple Store resulting in the police to use force to settle the unrest.
Now, with the new iPad hitting the shelves, Apple decided it would be best to use an online reservation system. People who wanted to get a new iPad had to register on a dedicated webpage using their ID cards, with the system assigning the lucky customer a specific time to come to the store and pick up the desired device.
This system was also meant to discourage speculators with a habit of waiting for hours and even days in front of Apple stores ahead of the release of a new product, then selling the highly-anticipated Apple products off for a nice profit. The intention was to keep the queuing to a minimum to protect both customers and employees. There were however some Apple enthusiasts who gathered in front of the Hong Kong Apple store in the hope to get their hands on the third generation iPad but were unsuccessful in their attempts.
Source: Wall Street Journal