When a worker announced that the sale of the new smartphone was cancelled due to concerns over crowd size, the crowd got angry, throwing eggs at the store and shouting at Apple employees.

Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said: “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.”

Apple fan Miao was angry at the way the launch was handled.

He said: “On one hand there is poor organisation and on the other there were just too many people.

‘I don’t think they prepared well enough.”

At dawn – hours after the incident died down – 11 police cars and a SWAT vehicle were parked outside the mall.

Apple’s other store in Beijing opened as expected and sold all its iPhone 4S models in the first too hours.

There were also scuffles at Chinese Apple stores last year when the iPhone 4 launched, and customers broke one store’s glass door.

Apple’s sales in China have rapidly grown over the last few years, increasing more than four times to $12.5bn in the year upto September 24.

The iPhone 4S will still be sold online.