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A Malaysian technology store that sells official Apple products had to close its doors this week when 11,000 fans turned up to buy $100 iPhones.
According to British tabloid newspaper The Sun, employees at the Switch store had no choice but to close the doors after thousands of people arrived to take advantage of its clearance sale.
Not only was the store offering $100 iPhones to customers, but it was also flogging off iPads, Apple TVs and Macs for bargain prices. Some devices cost just $24, causing the last-minute frenzy.
At one point, the store was offering discounted iPhone Xs and new MacBooks. But quickly, customers grabbed these bargains and stock ran low. It is believed that the store had about 200 devices on sale.
The company was trying to get rid of old and demo devices. However, despite envisioning a more manageable turnout, people were left forming multiple queues outside the store.
While the shop said that it would not let customers queue overnight to be first in line, that didn’t stop fans from waiting up to 19 hours to get their hands on cheap devices.
Customers crowded social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to describe the event. One compared it to “The Hunger Games”, while another called it an “embarrassing and disappointing experience”.
Some people said “there were too many people pushing” at the sale, and another angry Facebook commenter said that the closure of the store was unfair to people who had been waiting hours.
Writing on Facebook, Switch explained that it had to close the store due to safety worries. But it did not delve into these in detail, leaving many customers angry.
It said: “Due to security reason[s], we regret to inform you that the clearance sale will be put on hold until further notice. So stay tuned for more announcements.”