The new iPad launches in China this Friday, July 20th. Big crowds are expected. But Apple is using a reservation lottery service to allow buyers to essentially reserve their place in line now. Interested buyers simply need to go to this page, select a version of the iPad and provide their government ID. After that, a lottery-like system will notify the lucky few.
But this isn’t just about reducing the size of the crowds and improving customer satisfaction. Apple is using this system to fight scalpers and scammers.
In the past scalpers would try to turn a profit by getting in line early, buying an iDevice and then reselling the product at a higher cost to someone in line. Of course Apple frowns upon this practice. Not only is it a bit unsavory, there’s a high chance that buyers can be scammed with a fake iPad- it’s happened before. Unscrupulous dealers are also known to try to scoop up as many units as possible and then resell them at a higher cost.
As M.I.C. Gadgets reminds, Apple previously used this same lottery system for the iPhone’s Hong Kong launch. Apparently it worked to some degree of satisfaction. It’s nigh impossible to stop all the scammers, but this system seems fair enough to the early adopters while providing enough protection against the baddies.
Good luck! May the odds ever be in your favor.