Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products launches in China have been known for massive chaos, long queues, and anxious customers waiting to grab their favorite devices, but not this time. Today, the Retina display equipped device from Apple received a much quieter and organized response.
Please don’t mistake such response for low demand for the product; instead it has more to do with introduction of a pre-sale reservation system from the company, designed to control the chaos. This system requires all customers who are interested in buying the flagship tablet computer, to register their interest in advance. Customers can reserve the new iPad daily from 9am-12pm, and will be assigned a pickup time for the following day or later. The hi-tech system also helps restrict the influence of scalpers and independent sellers, who buy on bulk to make profit by reselling the same. According to the staff members of the Apple store, iPad sales will continue to follow the reservation system indefinitely. The reservation system was first introduced in Hong Kong, during the iPhone 4S launch in January, and is set to become the norm in this part of the world.
Today, Apple’s Chinese store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district, opened two hours earlier than scheduled. Half an hour later, the queue outside was only 10 people long, though it began to pick up subsequently. As a preventive security measure, gates has been installed along with a few security guards. Hopefully, this time around there won’t be any need to call the Beijing police, as had been the case earlier, during the iPhone 4S debut. During iPhone 4S debut, scalpers and customers become so restless by the delay in the opening of the Apple Store, and also with news of stock issues, that they started scuffling with staff members and other customers, along with pelting the store with eggs, as a result store was closed, along with other outlets. Thanks to the pre-sale reservation system, no such scenes have been noticed up till now.
The new iPad has improved screen resolution, along with faster data-connection capabilities. Many in China complained about the delay in launching the new iPad in China, as it was unveiled in March in the U.S. Though it came late in China , the product has long been available in China’s gray markets, where vendors get them shipped in from places like the U.S. and Hong Kong.