This morning I was in Sanlitun in Beijing for several meetings at Element Fresh. While walking there I saw a huge crowd of people at the Apple store. It turns out that they were there for the launch of the white version of the iPhone4.
Crowds are normal at Apple product launches these days (even I waited in line to buy an iPad 2 a couple of weeks ago), but to wait in line for a white version of a product that has been available for about 9 months already is something even I have difficulty understanding.
The interesting thing is that most people in line were not there to buy a phone for themselves, but only wanted to buy it to resell the gadget on Taobao.com or other Chinese e-commerce websites. When I walked by a couple of hours later the line was still about the same length, but now the crowd was harassed constantly by people who managed to buy a white iPhone already and tried to resell it to the people in line.
All around the Sanlitun area I saw people waving with white iPhone boxes and the official receipts for them, trying to resell them to other people! And there were many takers. To be honest, if I had wanted to buy the phone (which I don’t want, I just bought a black one which I prefer to the white version) I would rather pay EUR 50 extra for a new phone than to wait in line for a few hours.