Apple cancelled its scheduled sale of iPhone 4S in a Beijing store after fighting broke out among customers.

Crowds had queued overnight in subzero temperatures outside the store in the Sanlitun district when scuffling broke out between shoppers and store security staff. Fighting erupted when hundreds of cold and tired shoppers were told that the sale had been cancelled. The shop front was pelted with eggs before police arrived.

Apple's latest product in China, which features voice-captivated technology, is a long-awaited product, according to Reuters.

"I got in line around 11pm (local time) and beyond the line the plaza was chock-full with people," Huang Xiantong, a 26-year-old shopper, said.

"Around 5am the crowds in the plaza broke through and the line disappeared entirely. Everyone was fighting, several people were hurt.

"The police just started hitting people. They were just brawling."

According to a local TV channel, Apple's other store in Beijing sold out its stock of 2,000 units by 9am.

Apple has not commented on the incident.

China is Apple's fastest-growing market and accounts for one sixth of the company's global sales.

A woman is dragged away by police after she refused to leave Apple store area in the Beijing district of SanlitunReuters
Beijing police surround a disgruntled shopperReuters
Police remove angry crowds from outside the Apple store in Beijing's Sanlitun district after the iPhone 4S sale was cancelledReuters
Police stand guard outside the Beijing Apple storeReuters