updated 11:05 am EDT, Tue May 18, 2010
Barriers to resale suspected
Apple is staying quiet on why it refuses to accept cash payments for iPads, says San Francisco's KGO. The TV station notes that a local disabled woman, Diane Campbell, decided to make an iPad her first computer so she could advance her guitar playing. After saving small amounts of cash over several months, she eventually accumulated the $600 she needed to buy a 16GB Wi-Fi model. When she tried to pay for one at the Palo Alto Apple Store, however, she was rejected.
Although Apple's policy of only allowing debit or credit card purchases for iPads is not new, Campbell explains that a store worker informed her that it was to "prevent con artists from buying lots of iPads selling them overseas." She adds moreover that she was given anecdotes of people "buying 50 and 100 iPads at a time and going overseas and selling them triple the amount," despite Apple also imposing a limit of two iPads per customer. Contacted to confirm the explanation, Apple has so far refused to elaborate.
The story adds to a picture of the company as worried about getting as many iPads as possible into American hands. Fears of gray-market sales may be behind accusations of discrimination in New York City, where some SoHo store workers have allegedly been treating Chinese customers as automatically suspect. China is an extremely large market for grey market electronics, and is not expected to officially get the iPad for several months, or possibly even by the end of 2010.