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Handhelds The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple Reverses iPad "No Cash Purchase" Policy 377

Posted by timothy
from the so-it's-free-now dept.
ZipK writes "After a few days of bad publicity, Apple has reversed its no cash purchase policy, explaining that the policy was originally implemented to limit the number of iPads an individual could buy during the introductory period of short supply. Now that supply has caught up with demand — and the story has hit front pages and gained national attention — Apple has reversed its policy, and taken the opportunity to put a bow on the story by giving the formerly scorned Diane Campbell a free iPad."
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Apple Reverses iPad "No Cash Purchase" Policy

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  • Black market? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dan East (318230) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:28PM (#32283732) Homepage Journal

    Can someone explain how using a debit or credit card to purchase an iPad prevents the buyer from reselling it? And how is that considered the "black market"?

    • I dunno, paper trail maybe? There isn't much of a record if its a cash transaction.

    • Re:Black market? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:31PM (#32283794)

      The idea is to limit the number of purchases that a single customer can make. It's sort of hard to sell a hundred iPads on eBay or to people in other countries when you're only able to buy two of them yourself (yes, obviously it's probably possible to use several credit cards or have your friends buy iPads but I think this should be seen as more of a way to eliminate the low hanging fruit to discourage the casual opportunists).

      • Re:Black market? (Score:4, Informative)

        by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:47PM (#32284062)
        False. Nobody's doing that, and if they are it doesn't hurt Apple. This was a marketing move to try to propagate the artificial scarcity ploy Apple is using with the iPad. Nothing more. I'm surprised so many rubes don't see that, it's very obvious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It's not complicated. There is a two per person limit. They kept track of how many a person bought by their credit card. It's not illegal or against Apple policy to sell your iPad, it is against their policy to buy 200 iPads and open up a store selling them in a country where it's not yet available.

    • by bcmm (768152)

      And how is that considered the "black market"?

      Whatever the legal status of a device is, Apple has demonstrated on plenty of occasions that it doesn't think one really "owns" something bought from them.

      • Re:Black market? (Score:4, Informative)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:43PM (#32283982)

        Whatever the legal status of a device is, Apple has demonstrated on plenty of occasions that it doesn't think one really "owns" something bought from them.

        Do you have any real examples? Aside from services Apple offers (not purchases) what can't you do with Apple products that Apple prevents you? Once you buy it, do what you want. Take it apart, hack the software, put a different OS on it, since when has Apple stopped you? They even have legal recourse to go after jailbreakers of iPhone or people who make the tools, but they don't bother.

    • by dgatwood (11270)

      The proper term is "grey market", not "black market". Goods on the black market are either illegally obtained (stolen), illegally distributed, or just plain illegal. The term "grey market" covers goods hat are purchased legally, but are distributed into countries where they were not sold originally.

      • by Mononoke (88668)

        Goods on the black market are either illegally obtained (stolen), illegally distributed, or just plain illegal.

        Since iPads have Wifi and (often) 3G transmitters in them, sale and use is subject to a particular country's version of the FCC. The term "black market" would seem to apply here. Apple has to as least appear to be controlling the destination of the units they sale in order to stay out of trouble with the governing bodies of countries they would like to sell these items in eventually.

  • by 54mc (897170)
    for all debts, public and private. Oh, except debts to apple.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by zelbinion (442226)

      Right, that's just what I thought. It is even legal for Apple to refuse payment in cash? I can understand businesses not taking checks, credit cards, debit cards, etc. however not taking CASH? That smacks of a federal crime or something....

      • There's a pretty notable precedent [denverpost.com].

      • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:39PM (#32283916) Homepage
        It's not a debt if the store refuses to complete the sale. If a customer attempts to buy something with cash, and the store refuses, is there any outstanding debt on behalf of the (potential) customer? Nope, not if they haven't actually bought anything yet.
      • by zelbinion (442226) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:40PM (#32283930)

        Okay, I guess I was wrong:

        [from the horse's mouth] [treas.gov]

      • businesses can choose who to sell to. That is no legal problem. Legal tender comes in when you owe someone a debt. Then they must to accept payment for the debt if it's offered in legal tender. But if Apple never sold you an iPad in the first place, there is no debt.

      • It is even legal for Apple to refuse payment in cash?

        Of course it is. A private business can determine what form of payment they will accept.

        That smacks of a federal crime or something....

        Except for that pesky fact that it isn't one. I suggest you give this page [ustreas.gov] a read:

        There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241)
      But you don't owe them a debt, if they won't sell it to you.

      The local Apple store just needs to put a sign in the window:

      No Shirt, No Shoes, No Traceable Payment Method, No Service.
    • by Burdell (228580) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:40PM (#32283920)

      A purchase (exchange of money for goods) is not a debt. You can show up at your bank with $1000 in pennies to pay your mortgage and they have to take it, because that is a debt, but any vendor can decline cash for purchases. That's why it is legal for some fast-food places and such have signs that they do not accept denominations over $20 (which are more susceptible to counterfeiting and also quickly reduce their change-making ability).

      • by Kjella (173770)

        that they do not accept denominations over $20 (which are more susceptible to counterfeiting and also quickly reduce their change-making ability).

        Near as I call tell the bigger the note, the better the protection so they're not more susceptible but getting away with 90$ in cash and 10$ in goods is much more worth than getting away with 10$ in cash and 10$ in goods and you have to deduct the cost of making the forgery which will be relatively less for big notes. So more commonly used yes, but not because it's inherently easier to make a 100$ bill than a 20$ bill.

        • IIRC the most commonly counterfeited bills are $20s anyway. Fewer protections, more common to see (ATMs give out $20s), easier to spend.
      • Also some forms of public transportation do not accept cash directly; you first must convert your cash to a token, pass, card, etc.
      • Part of it is making change. A larger part is drawers in the cash registers and slots in the safe. Most cash registers don't have slots in their drawers for $50 and $100 notes, so you have to store them in the bottom, which is inconvenient and could lead to them getting forgotten. Also these places often use time release safes and depending on the kind, they have intake slots for different bills, and don't always have the largest denominations.

        However the largest part is risk. The big bills are of a great r

    • for all debts, public and private. Oh, except debts to apple.

      There is no debt until both parties enter into an agreement.

    • by vxice (1690200)
      At that point it was not debt. Only if they had given her and ipad on payment plan then they refused to take U.S. dollars would it have been debt and had caused problems.
    • by Translation Error (1176675) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:44PM (#32284008)

      for all debts, public and private. Oh, except debts to apple.

      A purchase is not a debt. As per the US Treasury's faq (here [ustreas.gov]):

      "all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services."

    • The issue is that the debtor can refuse creation of the debt. I have the right to refuse sale. That is how most places get past the issue of not accepting $100 bills.
    • by dissy (172727)

      for all debts, public and private. Oh, except debts to apple.

      http://www.ustreas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml [ustreas.gov]

      This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which say

  • by SlashSim (229766) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:30PM (#32283772)

    Apple can confirm the identity of any iPad user, so long as they have not purchased the device used.

    Very interesting.

  • by ravenspear (756059) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:33PM (#32283818)
    I've lost count of the number of times I've seen this pattern in the last few months/years, especially as it relates to the iPhone OS devices.

    1. Apple does something really dumb
    2. They get bad press for it
    3. A higher up at Apple goes "yeah, now that I think about it, that is really dumb"
    4. Apple reverses the policy to something not dumb

    It seems to me that maybe Apple should look at how they are formulating these dumb policies and see if they can get it right the first time.

    Now before I get modded down by the fanbois, let me just say that I own an iMac and an iPhone and generally like Apple products. Yet I simply have to admit that it seems they've had a serious injection of dumbness of late.
    • by Applekid (993327)

      It seems to me that maybe Apple should look at how they are formulating these dumb policies and see if they can get it right the first time.

      Why bother when you can get great PR out of doing what any other company does?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by sakdoctor (1087155)

      The pattern is:

      1. Apple does something really dumb
      2. They get bad press for it
      3. An army of Apple fanboys rush to their defence
      4. Apple laugh at how dumb their fanboy users are
      5. Boring story gets posted to slashdot frontpage

    • by RightSaidFred99 (874576) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:42PM (#32283960)

      This wasn't a dumb move, and this isn't bad press. They tried to make it look like the iPad was in such MONSTER demand that they wouldn't take cash. Then there was press, some moderately bad (Apple won't take cash), but mostly in their minds good (their iPad is selling like such hot cakes that they want to slow it down by not taking cash). Seriously, this late in the game who could possible be convinced people are still buying 50 iPads at a time and selling them at a markup?

      It's stupid marketing done by stupid people targeting stupid people.

    • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:42PM (#32283964) Journal

      That's how it's done in the real world: Make a policy that seems reasonable at the time, have something unforeseen pop up to show that maybe it's not as reasonable as you originally thought, re-think and change that policy to something that is.

      While Apple's policy was not a good idea, at least they were able to see that and be flexible enough to change it. It's just too bad for them that they had to get a black eye in order to recognize it was bad policy to begin with.

    • Because it is a strategy to make people want to buy their new generation of devices and software.

      In general, no one gets excited about firmware updates. However, if Apple can add in a blindingly obvious feature they can generate hype and money. Anyone could have told Apple they needed an SDK to be successful and that web apps sucked. However, because they didn't do it, they could get lots of hype when releasing the iPhone SDK and 2.0 firmware update. Same thing with copy/paste/search in iPhone OS 3.0 an
    • you make a general rule, people break it, you make a more specific rule, it causes a problem, you make an exception, people exploit it... etc.etc.etc.

      pick a system, any system.

      here's a reasonably good generalization of how law systems [plaidder.com] work and fail.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StormReaver (59959)

      Stupid stuff like this is why I will never buy any Apple products.

      Ever.

      It took too many years to get rid of one abusive corporate monopolist, and I'm not about to surrender my hard-earned freedom to another corporate monopolist wannabe.

  • Interesting marketing policy. Good for Apple if it doesn't upset people, free publicity when you revoke the policy if it does.

    Now that's what I call a win/win scenario.

    --
    Toro

  • Apple, like any other company, gets your name, address, and zip code when you buy something at one of their stores, right?

    And they need to correlate by your credit card number to ensure that you don’t buy more than two iPads?

    Why not link them to your account, with your name, and require a government-issued photo ID to verify your identity before they make a sale? Makes a hell of a lot more sense than limiting it by credit card... not everyone has a credit card, and many people have several.

  • Sales are as underwhelming as expected. And yesterday, Apple HQ fell form the distortion bubble into reality, when looking at the hard numbers. (Don’t worry. They’re right back in it again, or else they would gasp for air like fish on land. ^^)

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