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Police pulling people away from the Apple store in Beijing this morning. Andy Wong/AP/Press Association Images
Phone Fight

Beijing Apple store egged over iPhone delay

Video, photos: Crowds turn angry after queueing overnight for iPhone 4S release.

APPLE’S FLAGSHIP store in Beijing was forced to cancel the launch of the company’s newest iPhone model due to the huge crowds gathered outside.

People began turning angry when the store didn’t open as scheduled this morning at 7am, with some throwing eggs at the shop and shouting at employees.

Scalpers had hired groups of migrant workers to queue up overnight and stock up on the new iPhone 4S devices, according to the AP. Many others queueing outside since yesterday afternoon despite freezing conditions were simply there to upgrade their phones, they told reporters.

Reuters reports that some of those who had been waiting outside said fighting broke out and that several people were injured in the scuffles.

The latest iPhone device was being released in China today. Ahead of today’s release, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said: “Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts.”

Here is some footage taken outside the Beijing store this morning:

(Video via )

Beijing Apple store egged over iPhone delay
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  • Beijing

    Police officers stand guard as they seal off the area near Apple's Beijing flagship store after clearing the crowds this morning. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)
  • Beijing

    People queue outside an Apple store to purchase the iPhone 4S model in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)
  • Beijing

    A policeman tries to disperse the crowd as a notice reads "iPhone 4S was temporary out of stock" at the Beijing flagship store. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)
  • Beijing

    A policeman tries to drag away people who refused to leave the Apple store in Beijing today. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)
  • Beijing

    One man reacts as he pushed away by police officers while refusing to leave the Apple store in Beijing earlier. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)
  • Beijing

    A police officer walks by workers cleaning up garbage left by those gathered outside the Apple flagship store in Beijing this morning. (AP Photo/Andy Wong/PA Images)

Employees posted a sign saying the phone had sold up and police arrived on the scene to distribute the crowd and cordon off the area.

Apple spokesperson Carolyn Wu said that the store in Beijing’s Sanlitun district was not opened this morning in order to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Wu said that the iPhone 4S had sold out at other Apple stores in China today.

It will not be available at Apple stores in Beijing or Shanghai but  will continue to be sold through authorised stores and online through Apple’s Chinese carrier.

The iPhone 4S was being launched in 21 other countries today including the Dominican Republic, Guam, Ivory Coast and Botswana.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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