You may have read past articles about the problems that have been caused with the launch of iPhone 4S in China. As you can see from the picture of the Beijing Apple Store, there are many people waiting in anticipation – which is normal for the release of a new Apple product. However amongst this crowd, there are many “scalpers”, who go in as a customer and buy an iPhone and then sell them to people further back in the queue or online. And as you can probably predict Apple is trying to prevent this.
To do this they have designed an iPhone 4S reservation system, which is situated on the Chinese Apple Online Store. Customers can only use this service if they would like to buy an iPhone, they aren’t taking the custom from people who just walk in. To stop the scalpers from what they are doing in the queues, Apple is asking for Government ID’s and also asking the customer to present a proof of identification and their Government ID card. It is nothing but apparent that they have stepped up the security. It is thought that another reason why Apple have introduced this system is to reduce the size of the queues, and also to prevent people walking in and asking about stock.
The customers can reserve their iPhone 4S between the hours of 09:00 AM and 12:00 PM every day. They then receive an email from Apple at 09:00 PM confirming that they have successfully reserved an iPhone and what time they are required to pick it up from their chosen Apple Store.
It is clear that Apple have thought this through properly, despite the fact that they haven’t had to use this level of security on their reservations before, perhaps this will get introduced internationally to prevent queues and scalpers occurring elsewhere – only time will tell.
Apple sent this notification to all of those with a Chinese iTunes ID:
Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day. To request an iPhone reservation, please choose your store and the iPhone you want. If we have an iPhone reservation for you, you’ll receive a confirmation email by 9:00 p.m. tonight that includes the time when you can pick up your iPhone tomorrow. A government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number on your reservation is required for iPhone purchases. If you don’t receive an email, we were unable to reserve an iPhone for you, and you can try again another time. Only those who receive an email confirming their reservation will be able to purchase an iPhone; we will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers.