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Hundreds queue outside Apple stores in China as iPhone 7 goes on sale

Hundreds of people queued outside Apples stores in China early on Friday morning to buy an iPhone 7, the first day the new handsets and accessories went on sale on the mainland.

The queues appear to be smaller than on previous occasions when earlier versions of the phone were released in mainland China, but it may be because more buyers have already made orders online.

Apple will release new iPhones in Hong Kong and mainland China next week to meet pent-up demand

Dozens were queuing outside an Apple Store at the China Central Mall in Beijing at 7am on Friday, an hour before it opened, according to the news website Zol.com.cn.

Few scalpers appear to be queuing to buy iPhones and then selling them on for higher prices to those not prepared to wait or queue for a phone, the news website Ifeng.com reported.

New iPhone sells out in less than 10 minutes after Apple starts taking orders in Hong Kong

Scalpers who were buying are then offering them for a relatively low 500 yuan (HK$580) extra, the article said.

One man ordering online for home delivery was keen to get his hands on the phone quickly, according to the City Express newspaper in Hangzhou.

He went to the delivery depot of the courier company in person early on Friday to speed up the process, the report said.