A fight among customers over their place in line at a busy Apple store in New Haven boiled over into a brawl involving more than a dozen people Monday, three days after the iPhone 6's much-anticipated release.
Three people were arrested at the store at 65 Broadway in New Haven, and one of those three was briefly hospitalized for a small cut on his forehead, police said. Other people suffered bumps and bruises.
Police have been called to the same store repeatedly over complaints from store managers of unruly behavior since the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit stores Friday.
"There seem to be two groups, rival groups, mainly of Chinese people who are coming in from New York on a daily basis and trying to buy as many of the phones as the store will allow to sell toany one person," explained New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman.
Police said the buyers aim to resell the new iPhones in China at a huge mark-up from their retail price — often for $3,000 to $4,000.
"These rival groups have been challenging each other over their places in line. At times, these challenges have resulted in violence," Hartman said.
The New Haven store is selling the phones without contracts for $1,000, according to police.
The phones are in high demand and scarce in China right now, where the phones have not gone on sale yet due to regulatory issues, Dow Jones reported, citing Chinese state media.
That has prompted phone smuggling attempts in the country, including some tussles in Hong Kong near stores selling the iPhone 6. Scalpers have been able to resell the phones for as much as double the retail price, according to Dow Jones.