Apple fights scalpers with iPhone 4S lottery system in Hong Kong

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(CBS) - Apple customers who want to camp out for the iPhone 4S in Hong Kong will be disappointed.

The computer company has implemented a lottery system in an attempt to curb scalping spots in line at the Apple store in Hong Kong.

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Customers will have to fill out a reservation form online and wait to be chosen to purchase the iPhone 4S during a daily three-hour window. Those chosen will receive a confirmation by 9 p.m. the previous night. And they must show up with a picture ID that matches the reservation.

Apple offered this note to patrons in Hong Kong:

Due to high demand, we are accepting a limited number of iPhone reservations per day. To request an iPhone reservation, please choose your store and the iPhone you want. If we have an iPhone reservation for you, you'll receive a confirmation email by 9:00 p.m. tonight that includes the time when you can pick up your iPhone tomorrow. A government-issued photo ID matching the name and ID number on your reservation is required for iPhone purchases. If you don't receive an email, we were unable to reserve an iPhone for you, and you can try again another time. Only those who receive an email confirming their reservation will be able to purchase an iPhone; we will not be selling iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S to walk-in customers.

While it sounds like the VIP line for an exclusive club, the precautions might be in place due to a recent iPhone 4S launch in the Sanlitun district in Beijing that was ruined by scalpers.

"We were unable to open our store at Sanlitun due to the large crowd, and to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being," said Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu told the Associated Press.

There are no details regarding when customers in Hong Kong will be able to walk in to purchase the iPhone 4S.