Henrico County’s $50 iBook Sale Turns Into a ‘Mob Scene’

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Unsurprisingly, Henrico Countyis plan to sell 1,000 excess iBooks for US$50 each drew a large crowd to the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on Tuesday. The areais NBC affiliate reported that several people were trampled, with a few requiring medical care, although no one was seriously injured or killed.

The sale was open only to Henrico County residents, some of whom left their places in line to help others in distress. An official interviewed by the NBC affiliate said that he hadnit expected such a large turnout, which turned into what was described by a reporter as "a mob scene" when the doors opened at 7 AM and thousands of people rushed toward them. Only a few plainclothes police officers were on hand at the beginning of the sale, but police wearing riot gear soon showed up and stayed for the remainder of the event.

The 12-inch iBooks were part of a contract worth US$24.2 million and consisting of 23,000 iBooks; it was due to end this summer. In April of this year, Apple was outbid by some $4 million by Dell -- $20 less for each Windows-based laptop -- and Henrico County schools are in the process of transitioning away from Macs. Apple, however, still has a four-year contract with Henrico County for its middle school students. That deal will expire in June 2006.

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