Apple Stores in Hong Kong have resorted to a lottery system as the dwindling supply of the latest iPhone causes customers to turn on each other.
If you were to visit an Apple store in Hong Kong you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd wandered onto the set of Soylent Green. Throngs of scalpers, baying crowds held back by security guards, screaming, violence, people being carried away by scoop loaders ... okay, I made that last part up, but you get the idea. Supply of the new iPhone 4S comes nowhere near to meeting demand, and people aren't happy about that.
In order to avoid kicking off some kind of awful smartphone riot, Apple is now selecting customers via lottery. Potential customers can enter their details, including their mandatory government ID numbers, into Apple's website between 9am and 10pm. If they're lucky enough to win the honor of spending $650 on a black (or white!) rectangle, Apple will email them by 9pm, informing them they can pick up the phone the next day. The program is currently limited to stores in Hong Kong, though Apple stores all over China have been affected by the shortage. The photo in the top right was taken in Beijing.
Personally, I think Apple's missed a beat on this one. Instead of a lottery they should turn the purchasing process into a reality TV show, complete with minor acts of self-degradation like in I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. 'You may think you want a new iPhone, but do you want it enough to eat this boiled kangaroo anus?' They'd make a fortune. Well, more of a fortune anyway.
Source: The Verge