Apple using reservation system in China iPad launch to thwart scalpers

After months of waiting, Apple’s third-generation iPad is going to go on sale in mainland China tomorrow. But don’t expect overnight campouts or long lines. Word is that Apple has implemented a pre-register buying system to handle tomorrow’s tablets sales.

And you can’t blame them. Especially after what happened back in January at the iPhone 4S launch in Beijing. As you may recall, an Apple Store was forced to close down due to a mob of angry shoppers. But Apple has a plan this time to avoid the crowds…

TheNextWeb reports:

“In a bid to avoid a recurrence of the chaotic scenes that marred and, ultimately, shut down the launch of the iPhone 4S in March, a new pre-register buying system has been introduced. Prospective purchasers were required to place an order this morning, which then gives them a specific ‘appointment’ time tomorrow at which they can come to the store, pay for the iPad and take it home.”

This isn’t the first time Apple has used a pre-order system during a major product launch, and it won’t be the last. Unfortunately, unruly mobs are becoming commonplace during major product launches thanks to a rise in scalping.

Scalpers are typically regular people, paid by large-scale buyers to stand in line and purchase the latest Apple gadget. Then, thanks to early sellouts and limited availability, the buyers turnaround and sell the products for a hefty profit.

It’ll be interesting to see how Apple handles the upcoming iPhone launch, considering it’s expected to be one of the biggest in the company’s history. On one hand, a pre-order system would keep things nice, and orderly. But on the other, long Apple Store lines make for much better launch-day publicity.

Which way would you rather have it?