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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 spluurfg on 10/29/2007 1:51:52 PM , Rating: 3
The one thing I don't get though.... why ban people from using gift cards totally? Wouldn't it be rather straightforward (and obvious...) to allow them to use their gift cards so long as they used their credit card to pay for, say, $1 of the cost? That way there'd be an e-trail?

RE: Why Apple Why?
By UNCjigga on 10/29/2007 2:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
Let's put it this way. 250,000 is a conservative estimate. Looking at AT&T and Apple's own numbers, there are about 400,000 iPhones sold that are "unaccounted for" by AT&T (i.e. they were jailbreaked and sold.) If AT&T is paying Apple a fee for every iPhone activated at AT&T, then Apple better make damn sure they're not letting their phones slip through the cracks. Its all just part of revenue assurance.

They must be denying gift cards to close a loophole in their system, i.e. dealers are buying bulk giftcards using one credit card and then getting around the "2-per-customer" or whatever rule is in place.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By spluurfg on 10/29/2007 2:40:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, but if you make sure that at least $1 or even $0.01 of every iPhone sold was paid for with CC (and you can make up whatever of the rest of the balance with gift cards), then they can still enforce the 2-per-person limit while allowing customers to use their gift card value. They can split the balance between different payment methods at cash registers... it isn't rocket science.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By Tsuwamono on 10/29/2007 8:46:01 PM , Rating: 1
Ya, most of us get what you are saying but Apple users tend to be a little bit slower then the rest of us... have patience.

It's like dealing with a retarded child.

RE: Why Apple Why?
By CascadingDarkness on 10/30/2007 5:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Bit low, and uncalled for I'd say.

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