Apple has put an online lottery reservation system in place for iPhone 4S pre-orders in order to prevent Hong Kong scalpers from reserving iPhones. This comes after initial sales were cancelled due to riots and crowds.
The new reservation system no longer allows someone to reserve an iPhone without inputting full credentials that match a government issued ID. This is meant to keep out scalpers who use bots to snag up phones in the reservation system.
The lottery will only be available for a three hour window each day. Those who successfully reserve an iPhone will be notified by 9 p.m. each day via e-mail. This should help prevent scalpers from hiring random migrant workers to stand in line for them as they'll need a reservation and a valid government ID in order to be sold a device.
I know launches around the Chicago area get crazy at times but I can't ever imagine Apple needing to implement a system like this state-side. You can read the full message from Apple below.
Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day. To request an iPhone reservation, please choose your store and the iPhone you want. If we have an iPhone reservation for you, you’ll receive a confirmation email by 9:00 p.m. tonight that includes the time when you can pick up your iPhone tomorrow. A government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number on your reservation is required for iPhone purchases. If you don’t receive an email, we were unable to reserve an iPhone for you, and you can try again another time. Only those who receive an email confirming their reservation will be able to purchase an iPhone; we will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers.