Apple Doesn't Want Your Cash (Credit Only, Please)

from the cash-not-wanted-here dept

With reports of huge numbers of iPhones being purchased to be unlocked and resold, it looks like Apple trying to clamp down a bit on the process by changing the rules for purchasers: requiring credit cards for purchases and limiting order to only 2 iPhones at a time. This is similar to what the original "launch day" limitations were. The credit cards let Apple track purchases more carefully (though, you have to wonder what good that really does) and the two person limit makes life harder for unlocker/resellers -- but also makes it more likely that parents will be able to pick up iPhones for their kids this holiday season. As for whether or not it's legal to turn down someone handing over the requisite amount of cash, we'll just let the US Treasury Department explain that it's perfectly fine. The whole "legal tender" bit doesn't mean anyone has to accept your cash.

A bigger question, though, is why Apple would bother? The resellers are likely to figure out ways around these limitations anyway, and it just seems more likely to cause problems for legitimate purchasers (especially younger ones who might not have a credit card yet). And, while it is true that Apple makes money from every iPhone with AT&T service, it's silly to completely shut off unlockers, who still are giving Apple plenty of money that they might not hand over if they were forced to go with AT&T service (especially those from foreign countries where iPhone service is not offered). This really seems like an unnecessary restriction that isn't likely to help Apple very much.

Filed Under: cash, credit, iphone, unlocking
Companies: apple


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  1. identicon
    ibeetle, 29 Oct 2007 @ 7:01am

    Why is this news?

    One cannot buy a airline ticket without a credit card.
    One cannot rent a car without a credit card.
    Many companies require a credit card to secure a account. Almost every cell phone carrier, AOL, MSN, XBox Live (prefers and pressure user to do so) are just a few examples.
    --
    Then there is other retail stores policy.
    GameStop to this day has a 1 Wii per customer per day policy. With payment credit card only.

    ---

    Apple is trying to secure a number of things. One, trying to stop some bozo coming in, buy every iPhone in the place, then sell them 2.5 times over list on eBay.
    The other, they believe this is the best policy to help reduce any Christmas shortage. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving last year; as I stood in line at Toys R Us Times Square, we were told, repeatedly, one Wii per party and only credit card payment would be accepted. So, someone could not, for example pick up a Wii for themselves and 5 more for friends and/or neighbors.
    Lastly, placing a credit card restriction reduces minors from buying a iPhone and signing up for a cell phone contract without parents permission.

    ---
    Apple is a private company. You don't like the way they do business. Do not do business with them. I believe these restrictions do show a certain corporate responsibility. They are a multi-international billion dollar company. One policy is not going to bring them down. Apple is not doomed keeping some guy from buy 6 iPhones, and selling 5 of them on eBay.

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