A scheme designed to make it fairer for Chinese Apple customers to reserve and buy an iPhone 4 is struggling.

The Wall Street Journal reports customers being left empty handed after following the Apple website ordering process on Monday.

"On one of the final steps of the reservation process, the website offers two dates for in-store pickup," Loretta Chao notes in a WSJ blog post. "But when either date is selected, the site says that date is unavailable and asks customers to try again in another day."

Such has been demand in China; Apple has been trying to prevent customers buying multiple handsets to sell on for a quick profit on the grey market.

A new scheme introduced last week, aims to restrict customers to buying only one iPhone 4 per day. Those customers must provide proper identification that matches with their reservation details when coming to make the actual purchase.

Apple's iPhone 4 launched in China on 25 September, with China Unicom reporting they had sold 100,000 Apple handsets in the first four days.

Apple iPhone 4