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
    CYCLONE, 29 Oct 2007 @ 11:27pm

    The Rule of Unintended Consequences

    Apple is simply running into the brick wall of unintended consequences that springs up in the path of any institution, governmental or private sector, that attempts to institute unrealistic marketplace controls. When the Nixon Administration, through wage and price controls, decreed that a sirloin steak, for example, could not be sold for more than $x.xx per pound, the meat cutters simply changed the cut a bit and tagged on a new name, think tri-tip. When Roosevelt froze wages during WWII, employers came up with the idea of offering free health insurance as an added benefit to attract and keep the best workers. As a result, we now have the third party payer system that is a proximate cause of skyrocketing health care costs. The rules of the market no longer apply there.

    Consumers will find ways to circumvent artificial marketplace restrictions, whether by keeping one step ahead of Apple's firmware developers or finding ways to acquire the Chinese I-Clone which is sure to make it's way to these shores sooner rather than later. Apple is run by leftists and no matter how many MBA'S they may count in their ranks, they just don't have a gut level grasp of what makes a free market economy tick; hint, it's the consumers, stupid.

    God bless

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