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Chaos at Beijing Apple store after cancelled iPhone launch

Customers scuffled with security, and others pelted Apple's Beijing store with eggs after being told the launch of the iPhone 4S was cancelled. Queues formed overnight, after Apple said sales would begin at 7am local time (2300GMT). Apple then enraged buyers by abruptly cancelling the launch just two hours before the scheduled release. Most customers refused to leave and demanded explanations. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) UNIDENTIFIED APPLE CUSTOMER SAYING: "I am suffering from cold and hunger. But now they won't sell (the iPhone 4S). Why?" (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) BEIJING RESIDENT, LIU TAO, SAYING: "I have been waiting since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon until 7 o'clock this morning. Apple has broken a lot of Chinese customers' hearts. I think Apple has been very unkind by doing so. Anyway, a lot of us will be very disappointed at Apple." The unhappiness led to to fights between scalpers and security staff until the police arrived. The crowds finally left the store at around 10am local time (0200GMT) and the whole area was cordoned off. Apple says they decided to put off the launch because there was customer chaos. Things at the other Apple store were far less eventful, with its 2,000 iPhone 4S supply snapped up within two hours. A similar launch in Shanghai, also saw thousands lining up in a snaking long queue outside the Apple to buy the smartphone. Arnold Gay, Reuters.

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