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Eggs fly, stores closed as Apple's new iPhone goes on sale in China

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

January 13, 2012 | 2 min read

Apple has temporarily stopped selling the new iPhone at its five retail stores in China after a disturbance at its store in Beijing when eggs splattered the shop front.

Eggingon the customers!

The iPhone 4S,newest version of the phone, also sold out at the other four Chinese stores.

An Apple spokeswoman said the phone, which went on sale in China on Friday, would not be offered at the stores in Beijing and Shanghai "for the time being." However, it is still being sold online.

At the Sanlitun store in a posh area of Beijing, hundreds of customers had waited overnight in freezing weather . After it failed to open at the expected time of 7a.m., eggs were thrown at the windows.

The store never opened - and hours later men with megaphones roped off the store and police ordered the crowd to disperse .

China is desperate for Apple products. Sales went up five times in the fiscal year ended Sept. 24 to $12.47 billion.

The Sanlitun store has been in the headlines before. In May shoppers queueing for an earlier iPhone scuffled with store employees and a plate-glass window was smashed.

One young student told reporters , "It's so unfair. What Apple said was unreliable. I waited here a whole night and was still forced away. If they'd opened the doors, then do you think someone still would've thrown those eggs?"

But he said he would still buy the iPhone 4S and would wait for the store to open. "I like the phone, so there's no other way," he said.

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