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If you want to purchase an iPhone from an Apple Store, forget about using cash or a gift card.

Apple is stepping up its efforts to limits resellers from getting their hands on the popular iPhone. Apple wants to crack down on those who buy, unlock and then resell iPhones to consumers.

Of the roughly 1.4 million iPhones that have been sold since its introduction in late June, Apple COO Tim Cook estimates that 250,000 iPhones have been purchased by customers who have the intention of unlocking the phones.

"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," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "We're requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers."

Cash will no longer be an acceptable form of payment for iPhones and Apple has also reduced the purchase limit from five iPhones per person to two.

Today, however, Engadget is reporting that Apple has gone one step further than just denying cash customers. Apple is also denying the use of Apple Gift Cards to purchase iPhones. For those looking to get a stack of Apple Gift Cards for Christmas to put towards the purchase of an iPhone; you may want to rethink that idea.

Apple recorded 67 percent higher profits for Q3 2007 thanks in part to the iPhone. Apple's crackdown on resellers and those who wish to unlock the iPhone is no doubt a measure to protect the steady cash flow from AT&T.

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, AT&T is paying Apple an average of $18 a month for each iPhone customer. In other words, Apple receives $399 for each iPhone sold plus an additional $432 over the course of a two-year contract thanks to AT&T's exclusivity arrangement.

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RE: Why Apple Why?
By crystal clear on 10/29/2007 12:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
Now look at this from another point of view-

The iPhone makes its debut in France on November 29.

The iPhone makes its debut in the UK on November 9.

The iPhone makes its debut in Germany on November 9.

Add to this local demand in the USA,which is already very high & expected to increase in the major buying season.

Read this survey report about consumer satisfactions (USA) -

According to ChangeWave's latest consumer cell phone survey, completed Oct. 2, the Apple (AAPL) iPhone continued to enjoy solid growth while it raced to a huge lead in terms of customer satisfaction.

The survey of 3,654 Alliance consumers looked at key market share changes among the major cell phone manufacturers and service providers and found that, while the iPhone has been on the shelf just three months, its impact is already being felt industry-wide.

iPhone Ups Its Share

Apple's current cell phone market share showed solid growth that was in line with previous expectations. Among respondents, market share has doubled since our previous cell phone survey in July, rising to 2%.

The top cell phone manufacturer, Motorola (MOT), maintained its No. 1 spot in terms of current market share with 30%; however, that figure has fallen one percentage point since our July survey to its lowest level in more than a year.

Add to this huge demand in Asia/Mid East/China/India for iPhones & a low $ makes it even more attractive a bargain.
exclusively for unlocking purposes.

There is huge traffic/trade of iPhones moving into the above regions(Asia)
through 3rd parties/businesses/gifting/reselling/tourist etc.

Apple could be having a serious supply problem from its hardware manufacturers to meet demand for iPhones-
in USA/Europe/Asia all put together

It cannot afford for AT&T sake be running out of iPhones in the major buying season.

Even Apples hardware/components manufacturers could be having their own supply problems.

All this when we are entering a major buying season......think.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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