Apple Warns Scalpers Not To Queue Outside Of Hong Kong Stores For New iPad

Apple Warns Scalpers Not To Queue Outside Of Hong Kong Stores For New iPad

Customers in Hong Kong must reserve Apple's new iPad online before they attempt to collect it from store.

iOS devices are big business in China, and not just for Apple. Gangs of scalpers queue up to get their hands on the latest devices on launch day so that they can later be sold on through the grey market for a sizable profit.

Back in October, when the iPhone 4S launched in Hong Kong, police were called to break up the riots that occurred outside of Apple retail stores as scalpers attempted to force their way into the lines ahead of genuine customers. To ensure it doesn’t happen again, Apple has warned scalpers not to queue up for its new iPad on Friday.

The company has left notices outside of its flagship store in the IFC Mall in Hong Kong, telling customers that the new iPad will not be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. It reads:

No staying or queueing up here. Apple will not serve on a first come first serve basis for new iPad. Please refer to Apple’s official website for the detailed arrangement.

Following the trouble Apple had with its iPhone 4S launch in China, it introduced a reservation system that means Chinese customers must first place their orders online, then pick up the device in-store, with a government-issued photo ID, when they receive confirmation that their item is available. The service will go live for the new iPad from Thursday morning.

However, neither the system nor the notices are deterring hopeful iPad customers. The lines continue to build ahead of Friday’s launch, with Engadget China reporting that scalpers are camped out outside of the IFC Mall despite warnings from the police demanding that they move on.

Apple Warns Scalpers Not To Queue Outside Of Hong Kong Stores For New iPad

They won’t be able to walk into the store and purchase the device, but it is believed that they will be there to offer genuine customers inflated sums of money to hand over their new iPad.

  • WardC

    This is all a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? What is it about these iDevices in particular that makes these Chinese folks as desperate to get one as a 40-day trekker in the Sahara? The idea of owning an iPhone or an iPad to a Chinese citizen seems more important than winning the Powerball lottery, they are salivating more over this stuff than a kid in a candy store.

  • Taylor Straton

    @WardC:disqus , owning an Apple product and showing it off in China is akin to owning a Mercedes and driving it around town. It’s a status symbol such that people are willing to pay all their cash for it (which is quite common there, in fact). Annnnnnd Apple products are tons better than the other products readily available on the market.

  • Shaunathan Sprocket

    “ooh Shiny”  + Super Long Battery life is good in rural areas + cheaper than a PC + Prestige = OMGINEEDITNOW

  • CGJack

    Hmm, the person who wrote that notice has terrible English skills.

    Capitalising ‘queuing’ and not the P in ‘iPad.’

    And these people called themselves British…

  • zviivz

    What about eBays and Craigslist? There are a bunch of scalpers here too!!

  • Bionix1579

    Good to see thing happening. Gotta hate those scalpers who are greedy for money and are ruining the lives of people who genuinely want to purchase an iPad.

  • x86tech

    “…Chinese customers must first place their orders online, then pick up the device in-store, with a government-issued photo ID…”

    I’m not Chinese, does this mean I can’t buy one when I visit Hong Kong on saturday? I hope I can place an order online too and claim it. :(

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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