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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 omnicronx on 10/29/2007 1:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
The iPhone is easy, has great features, and as a product is a really cool phone. But the contracts offered are terrible, and the price is too high for having to sign a contract of 2 years. What is going to happen when other companies start making phones with the exact same capabilities, but you get it for 0$ because you signed a 3 year, not so evasive contract?

Apple is not dominating the phone industry, and although i don't know the real numbers, i doubt they have even have 1% market yet.If Apple expects to continue to go country to country with exclusive contracts, and thinks this plan will work in the long term, they are kidding themselves..

RE: Why Apple Why?
By Anh Huynh on 10/29/2007 1:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
I pay $85 a month, thats no worse than what I was paying for my Cingular 8525 with essentially the same plan. The $85 I paid for the Cingular 8525 was with a Student/Employee discount, without it, I'd have to pay close to $100. So the plans are quite fair for what they are.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By omnicronx on 10/29/2007 1:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, and i pay 75$ Canadian a month, have a data plan, and i got an e6800 for 100$, but it had a 100$ mail in, so it came to $0. Now of course our plans our about the same, but i got my phone for free. When iPhone clones start popping up, apple is going to have to change their business strategy, or they risk slipping into an even smaller niche market than they are already in.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By KingViper on 10/29/2007 2:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't compare. I'm with sprint and pay $41 a month for unlimited data, free sprint to sprint, unlimited texts, free nights and weekends, etc. That includes the insurance costs.

Plus my phone was free.

You can't tell me $85 a month isn't any worse than what other companies have to offer.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By Anh Huynh on 10/29/2007 3:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
But isn't that the SERO plan?

RE: Why Apple Why?
By KingViper on 10/29/2007 4:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but he was using a student discount before?

I can use any phone I want with this plan, so I don't think that should matter. Also, anyone can get the SERO plan.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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