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MOB Beijing Apple Store Egged Andy Wong / AP Photo

Beijing Apple Store Egged

They wanted it really bad. Hundreds of customers and workers hired by scalpers hoping to profit from early purchases waited for hours at Apple's flagship Beijing store Friday for the launch of the iPhone 4S in the country. But employees were concerned about the huge crowd, and when the store failed to open at 7 a.m., things got ugly and the group pelted the store's sleek glass walls with eggs. The commotion led Apple to cancel the launch and police ordered the crowd to leave. Many of those who waited in line—many of them migrant workers and some were even elderly people—said they won't be able to collect the puny $15 promised if they waited overnight in freezing weather. The incident highlights the role of unscrupulous middlemen who exploit the country's poor to buy up and sell popular gadgets at a high markup.

January 13, 2012 7:08 AM