Apple, iPhones, and the gray market

Apple doesn't want you reselling that iPhone. That's not just conjecture—Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris told the Associated Press this weekend that the company is changing its sales policies when it comes to the iPhone to combat "unauthorized resellers." 苏州美睫美甲

"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," she told the AP. "We're requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers."

Previously, customers could use cash to purchase iPhones, iPods, MacBooks, software… anything they wanted at the Apple Store. Not anymore; your cash isn't needed if you're going to be buying Apple's hottest new gadget. Apple has also reduced the max number of iPhones from five per person to two, reminiscent of launch day when sales were limited to two per person.

Additionally, we've received several reader reports that gift cards are also being turned down for use on new iPhone purchases. Credit only means credit only, it seems. (Kids, that also means your generous family members can't help you out on the cost of a new iPhone with gift cards either—a popular gift choice for the holiday season, to be sure.)

Upon first blush, it seems like requiring a credit card instead of cash wouldn't stop any of this reselling that Apple looks so unfavorably upon. But theoretically, requiring you to use a credit card to purchase the iPhones means that Apple can see your purchase history on the same card. I wonder what would happen if someone purchased two phones on a card, left, and then purchased two more phones on the same card a week later. Would someone say something?