Chinese iPhone 13 retail store crush insanity shows why you're better buying direct from Apple

Apple Store Fifth Avenue New York
Apple Store Fifth Avenue New York (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Video shows iPhone 13 launch chaos at a Chinese carrier store.
  • Sales had to be halted as customers ran to get to the front of the line.
  • By contrast, Apple Stores offer 15-minute collection windows and easy online ordering.

Last Friday saw the arrival of the iPhone 13 family of devices and it already appears that demand was high. That demand caused things to get out of hand at one Chines store when people ran and pushed their way to the front of the line, causing chaos as they went.

A tweet by South China Morning Post shows a huge number of people running through a mall to try to be the first to pick up the hotly anticipated iPhone. The report says that the crush was so intense that the store had to stop selling devices, asking people to come back the next day as a way to try and defuse the situation.

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It isn't immediately clear whether this store was a carrier partner or an electronics outlet, but signs for Oppo and other manufacturers show that it wasn't an Apple Store. Rather, Apple Stores have been offering online ordering and pickup options since pre-orders began on September 17, with those visiting stores told to select a 15-minute window. Anyone arriving at the stores.

While this example is a rare one, there's little doubt that the best iPhone buying experience is direct from Apple, either in-store or online. Thankfully we won't need to deal with another iPhone launch until this time next year — let's just hope nobody was injured in this one.

With some people suggesting the iPhone 13 lineup is a disappointment due to a lack of significant upgrades over iPhone 12 features it's clear that wasn't a sentiment shared here.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.