Earlier today, Apple and its carrier partners in 8 countries started taking pre-orders for iPhone 5c. However, Apple didn’t start taking pre-orders in Hong Kong and China, where iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s are set to go on sale on September 20.
MacTrast reports that Apple has different plans for China and Hong Kong. Apple will allow customers in Hong Kong and China to reserve iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c online beginning September 17 for pick up on September 20.
This doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year, Apple had rolled out the reservation system for iPhone 4s and iPhone 4 in Hong Kong to tackle scalpers. Apple has used the reservation system in China as well after the iPhone 4s launch had to be cancelled due to unruly crowd.
Here’s how the reservation system works:
- With the reservation system, customers have to enter the full credentials that match a government issued ID. This prevents scalpers from using bots to reserve all the iPhones.
- The reservation window is available for only 3 hours every day. Customers who have been successful in reserving an iPhone will be notified by 9:00 pm via email so that they can pickup their iPhone from an Apple Store the following day.
- Apple also won’t be selling new iPhones to walk-in customers, which should keep the scalpers from hiring migrant workers to stand in line for them.
Apple has not started taking pre-orders for iPhone 5s in other countries as well. It will only start accepting online orders at 12:01 am on September 20, or customers who want to get it on launch day will have to visit their local Apple Retail Store, or carrier store or Apple Authorized Reseller.
It would have been nice if Apple had rolled out a similar reservation system in other launch countries as well. What do you think?