Earlier today we reported that one of Apple's stores in Beijing, China did not open its doors to start selling the iPhone 4S to the public as originally planned. Now Apple has decided to halt the retail sales of the iPhone 4S in the entire country. BBC News reports that the company made that decision "due to the large crowd" at their Sanlitun retail store "and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees."
The crowd at the store began to throw eggs early on Friday morning after Apple would not open the store as planned. It is believed that most of the crowd at the store consisted of scalpers who had planned to resell the iPhone 4S for profit. Other Apple stores in China began selling the iPhone 4S as planned with no such crowd issues
Apple said that while its retail stores in China would not sell the iPhone 4S, other authorized retailers in that country can continue to sell the smartphone. People can also still order the iPhone 4S in China online at Apple's web site. In the meantime, Apple announced that the iPhone 4S is now sold out in China.
China is Apple's second biggest market outside of the US for the iPhone 4S so it's a rather big deal that Apple has suspended sales of the device at its retail stores. Hopefully this decision will be reversed quickly.