Yesterday, we posted a picture of two young gentlemen queuing up in front of London’s Apple flagship store one whole week ahead of the new iPad’s official release date. It turns out such an act won’t be tolerated in Apple’s Hong Kong counterpart as signs were seen plastered around the official retail store by Engadget China on Tuesday, stating that customers will not be served according to time of arrival.
The signs, posted at the footbridge of the International Finance Center (IFC) in the Central district of Hong Kong, warned interested patrons to not camp outside of the vicinity to get their hands on the new iPad later this week. Instead, customers are prompted to use an online Reserve and Pickup system that will be available Thursday morning to link purchases to a government-issued identification card and address. It’s pretty much the same concept as pre-ordering an iPad, except you’ll have to do so a day in advance and you won’t be able to sit at home anxiously waiting for the delivery man to show up.
However, Engadget China also noticed the signs did little to discourage people from camping outside of the IFC. Despite needing a reservation receipt, these scalpers are likely attempting to buy a new iPad to sell on the street so people won’t have to go through the trouble of making an online order and waiting in line to pick up the product. It’s also very likely that the street prices will be marked up through the roof, but given how much these things go for on Craigslist or eBay, it won’t be surprising to see what some people are willing to pay for a bit of convenience. Police have attempted to get people moving off the site, but has done so with little success.
Additionally, the location of the IFC in Hong Kong is the center of the business district in the country, with many international headquarters and expats traveling through area daily. The added traffic of people camping along the streets is not only frustrating for local government, but also those who need to walk through the neighborhood to get to work.
With the chaos that ensued earlier this year involving angry Chinese customers egging the Apple Store for delaying the sale of the iPhone 4S, it is no wonder Hong Kong is taking extra precautions to avoid unruly behavior at the release of yet another new product. What it is about sales and retail stores causing people to go completely mad is beyond us, but we hope people will learn to be more civilized and take the early steps to pre-order items online to reduce the amount of trouble they have to go through just to own a shiny new gadget. You’ll also help keep the postal service busy with jobs, so do us all a favor and save everyone time, effort and money.
Image Credit: Engadget China