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10/27/2007
10:24 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Want To Pay Cash For An iPhone? Apple Won't Let You

In an apparent effort to curb the reselling of unlocked iPhones, Apple has instituted a new policy that forbids customers from paying cash--you know, the stuff that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"--for iPhones. And it has dropped the limit to two per person.

In an apparent effort to curb the reselling of unlocked iPhones, Apple has instituted a new policy that forbids customers from paying cash--you know, the stuff that says "legal tender for all debts public and private"--for iPhones. And it has dropped the limit to two per person.I don't think Apple is going to get away with this one. Starting Thursday, Apple began requiring that people interested in purchasing iPhones use credit or debit cards to make their purchase, which ties an identity to the iPhones bought. They also will no longer allow people to buy up to five iPhones, and have instituted a two-per-person limit.

Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris said in a prepared statement:

"Customer response to the iPhone has been off the charts, and limiting iPhone sales to two per customer helps us ensure that there are enough iPhones for people who are shopping for themselves or buying a gift. We're requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers."

This is a bit draconian. What are teenagers, who may not have a debit or credit card, supposed to do if they want to buy an iPhone? People should have the freedom to purchase an iPhone with whichever method they choose, including U.S. paper or coin currency.

Apple was blunt in saying that this is an attempt to prevent people from buying multiple iPhones, unlocking them and reselling them. iPhones that are used on networks other than AT&T's prevents Apple from collecting on the monthly revenue it has worked out with AT&T. This sounds like a protectionist policy to me.

Earlier this week, we learned that 250,000 iPhones that have been sold appear to be unlocked, or at least are not being used on AT&T's network.

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