Scalpers crowd out today's iPad mini launch in China
After near-riots broke upon the introduction of the iPhone 4S early this year in China, Apple put in place an early reservation system called iReserve on the lottery principle. Those whose names were drawn the previous day, could go and snatch the device, and the same thing was put in place now for the launch of the iPad mini today.
People drawn can go an pick a maximum of two iPad minis, avoiding crowds and unnecessary kerfuffles, with stores being orderly and quiet today, reporters noticed.
Those who were crowding out the store fronts, though, turned out to be still mainly scalpers, who got the tablets from the drawn customers, and are going to turn around and resell the smaller iPad for a nice profit. They even pushed around a WSJ reporter who went to write about the iPad mini launch at the Sanlitun Village Mall, where riots broke last year for the launch of the iPad 2 and the white iPhone 4.
In the end, the scalpers managed to round hundreds of customers to go and get tablets for them, stacking them neatly on the benches nearby. Apple holds the largest percentage of brand name tablets in China, to the tune of 71% market share, and it will be interesting to watch how the number changes with the introduction of the company's most affordable slate there.