AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple puts limits on sales of iPhones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Oct 2007 22:20 User comments (45)

Apple puts limits on sales of iPhones Apple has put new restrictions on the sale of its popular iPhone in an effort to curb the growing number of consumers buying the phone purely to unlock it and use it on a service that is not AT&T.
The company has estimated that 250,000 of the nearly 1.4 million iPhones sold to date have been unlocked and Apple seems to be worried that consumers looking to buy for unlocking purposes "could hurt availability for legitimate buyers."

In an effort to stop these sales, only two phones will be allowed for purchase per person and cash payments are no longer available. A credit or debit card is now a requirement if you want to buy the phone. Apple also said it will be tracking the histories of purchasers to ensure that they don't break the new rule.

The new rules are effective immediately, added the company.

Source:
BetaNews

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45 user comments

129.10.2007 22:38
vinny13
Inactive

Meh, in the end you can't blame 'em. They're losing money. I would to the same thing.

229.10.2007 22:39

I don't get it. If I buy one on my credit card and have it unlocked for t-mobile, how are they going to stop that?

329.10.2007 22:51

It is absolutely illegal to deny cash payments. The only "legal tender" is cash and if they refuse to sell you an Iphone when you have cash you are allowed by law to take one and leave the cash in its place.

Apple cannot deny cash.

429.10.2007 23:08

Originally posted by mrtoast2:
It is absolutely illegal to deny cash payments. The only "legal tender" is cash and if they refuse to sell you an Iphone when you have cash you are allowed by law to take one and leave the cash in its place.

Apple cannot deny cash.
not true... this is from the dept. of treasury web site.

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.

http://www.treas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml#q1

529.10.2007 23:13

Its time to sue Apple. They can't legally forbid a customer from buying an iPhone with cash. They need to read the statement on U.S. currency. "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private". If the outlet refuses to sell you an iPhone tell them that you will speak to an attorney and will pursue legal action against the outlet, Apple and the clerk personally. Also contact the EFF. Its past time to put Apple and all the other companies on notice that we will not tolerate being ripped off anymore by exclusivity and/or anti competitive policies.

Personally ATT is on my $hit list due to their insistence on refusing to tell me who supposedly called and talked to me after my dad passed away in 2004. They wanted to charge me for that call and I eventually told ATT to stick their cell phone service up their six o clock for the second time. I use NET10 and it costs me $15.00 a month.

Just my $.04 (Inflation)

629.10.2007 23:14

Refusing "mighty dollar" as a payment method is a bit unconventional.
I hope Feds won't complain about it...

Could it be that the recent softening of US currency has anything to do with that?

729.10.2007 23:17

Apple is doing this in an effort to help AT&T profit from the purchase of an iPhone. Their target are the current/potential first-time customres first; because realistically they can't prevent a consumer who has no intentions of leaving their current carrier purchase their product.

829.10.2007 23:18
OzMick
Inactive

"for all debts" is the loophole. You don't have a debt at time of purchase, if you walk away you don't owe anything. Unless maybe you were to get it on an interest free period or something, in which case they'd need ID anyway... Bit of a hazy legal area there. Have a look on wikipedia for legal tender.

929.10.2007 23:22

apple should have gone with cdma and not gsm.

1029.10.2007 23:22

Originally posted by P51ride:
"This note is legal tender for all debts public and private".
Go to the web site I posted above. Debts and goods for sale are two different things.

1130.10.2007 0:25
AXT
Inactive

Originally posted by P51ride:
Its time to sue Apple. They can't legally forbid a customer from buying an iPhone with cash. They need to read the statement on U.S. currency. "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private". If the outlet refuses to sell you an iPhone tell them that you will speak to an attorney and will pursue legal action against the outlet, Apple and the clerk personally. Also contact the EFF. Its past time to put Apple and all the other companies on notice that we will not tolerate being ripped off anymore by exclusivity and/or anti competitive policies.

Personally ATT is on my $hit list due to their insistence on refusing to tell me who supposedly called and talked to me after my dad passed away in 2004. They wanted to charge me for that call and I eventually told ATT to stick their cell phone service up their six o clock for the second time. I use NET10 and it costs me $15.00 a month.

Just my $.04 (Inflation)
Good Point. Cash is Legal tender and it has to be accepted by the seller as a means of payment in this case at&t and apple. You can even go to a car dealership and buy a car with nothing buy dimes and it has to be accepted by the sell.

1230.10.2007 0:41
WierdName
Inactive

This is kinda BS but I'm pretty sure this is legal. Companies have the right to refuse service to anyone.

1330.10.2007 4:48
whytelyou
Inactive

Prepaid debit card anyone? You can always get one with a fake name... lol

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Oct 2007 @ 4:50

1430.10.2007 6:03

If only there was anything in that phone that'd make me want to get it...
My concern is not about the cash sale but this piece:

Quote:
Apple also said it will be tracking the histories of purchasers [...]
So basically they'll build a database of anyone who buys their phone, most probably linking the IMEI/serial no. with the names, so if you DO unlock the phone they can find out and screw you...

Edit: refusing to accept cash may not be illegal but it's definitely immoral. Looks like they're working hard to alienate as many customers as possible. Including me.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Oct 2007 @ 6:05

1530.10.2007 8:32

all this bullshat with the Iphone would be nothing if someone just made a phone similar to the damned thing. that could be competitive.

1630.10.2007 8:49

Quote:
So basically they'll build a database of anyone who buys their phone, most probably linking the IMEI/serial no. with the names, so if you DO unlock the phone they can find out and screw you...

Exactly! Every time an iPhone is unlocked Apple loses money…

Quote:
refusing to accept cash may not be illegal but it's definitely immoral.

What?????

1730.10.2007 10:04

I'm glad they weren't doing this when I purchased mine. I don't have any kind of card becuase I'm still in high school. It was too easy, I went in gave them $300 cash, no activation, and they gave me the phone with nothing else. It was the fastest cell phone purchase I've ever made.

1830.10.2007 10:32

So what. They can't do anything to you even if they do track you and see that you unlocked their phone...Its just like game councols. Its not illegal to put in mod chips...Its only illegal to play backups of games that you don't own.

1930.10.2007 11:36
kriggle
Inactive

As a former Cingular/AT&T employee I was able to see the iPhone launch from the inside so to speak. The reason the company does not want you unlocking your phone is that you will not need to use their service to run the phone. Due to the nature of cell phone companies, everything they do is worked out as an investment. They sell you the initial equipment at a loss in an effort to get you locked into a lengthy contract with the hope of reclaiming some of that loss from your monthly service charges over a 1 or 2 year period. This typically absorbs all the funds the consumer pays in for the first 4 to 6 months of service with them, sometimes longer for higher priced equipment, sales specials or other rebates. In most cases, the actual phone manufacturers and retailers receive incentives for every handset sold for use with the cell phone company's service. If the cell phone company is not able to maintain the user on their service then that ultimately affects their bottom line which will cause them to reduce the value of the kickbacks to the phone manufacturers and retailers. If this happens enough, as in 250,000 units, even a few cents per unit starts to become a noticable amount of money. You also need to take into account the amount of money the cell phone company itself is now losing by selling the phone at a loss without being able to overcharge you for their service to reclaim that loss...

My last point involves the "Legal tender for all debts public and private" issue: There is no physical backing (i.e. Gold, Silver or other precious metal/commodity) for US currency, therefore US money is simply an idea with a paper representation. US money has steadily been inflated because without a Gold or Silver or other Commodity Standard there is no limit to how much money can be printed and how many coins can be minted. While only one of many causes for the decline in value of the US Dollar, this has steadily contributed to inflation and the loss of value for US money worldwide. Our somewhere between 9 and 11 Trillion dollar debt has also not helped this trend...

2030.10.2007 12:07

Originally posted by DoomLight:
all this bullshat with the Iphone would be nothing if someone just made a phone similar to the damned thing. that could be competitive.
Unfortunately, this will do no good. There is already phones that do what the iPhone does, and more.

(Look at the company HTC - i own an HTC P4000 myself. the whole thing is touch screen, can take 2megapixel photos/video, micro SD card expansion slot, etc, etc...)

The thing is, Apple is now a fashion statement. I mean, I sold iPods for 2 years, so trust me when I say apple iPods are one of the WORST MP3 platers to hit the market. There are companies out there with players the SMOKE the iPod (and are usually 50-100CAD cheaper). But people get them because they are COOL, and because they see them on TV. If you want the phone for functionality, I would run from apple, and go with the companies that have been in this industry a lot longer, like HTC.

As to whether or not denying cash is legal. Well I can see both sides of the debate (what if all grocery stores only took debit/credit? those without cards would die of starvation). However, I'm sure Apple consulted a damn good lawyer before pulling this one, so it's probably legal.

2130.10.2007 12:16

I just don't understand why Apple chose AT&T as the sole service provider? Unless it was one of those golf-course deals made with a handshake between 2 close buddies. Is it safe to say that AT&T assumed that all of their current customers who purchased an iPhone would stay with them. That sounds like a safe assumption. You either like your provider or you don't. That has nothing to do with what type of phone they offer. It turns out that in my area, every service sucks except for Verizon Wireless. That may not be the case in other areas, but I have no choice but to pick the best provider for my needs. I would never switch from VzW. So why would I even entertain purchasing an iPhone. Why not release the iPhone to all providers. Then everyone who can afford it will get one, making Apple happy. There would be no hacking, therefore less headaches, expenses and customer alilenation associated with hacking. It just all seems like such a stupid business decision.

2230.10.2007 12:51
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by Matt555:
However, I'm sure Apple consulted a d*** good lawyer before pulling this one, so it's probably legal.
Don't be so sure. It may be highly probable, but the lawyer could have screwed up, Apple may not have even contacted a lawyer, etc. You don't really know if it's legal until it's challenged. And that will come with all the lawsuits that will probably come.

2330.10.2007 15:07

something i find that is really stupid is that the iphone is suppose to come to rogers provider in canada but the iphone is going to cost $800.................................
The Canadian doller is worth more then the american doller so its like buying the iphone in the US for 840....
Any1 else see a problem with this?

2430.10.2007 16:42
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by 0ldskool:
something i find that is really stupid is that the iphone is suppose to come to rogers provider in canada but the iphone is going to cost $800.................................
The Canadian doller is worth more then the american doller so its like buying the iphone in the US for 840....
Any1 else see a problem with this?
Ya, I do see a problem with that. The reason is that the Canadian dollar is actually worth less compared to the American dollar because the same object costs more in Canadian than American dollar(s). Take greeting cards for example. The same card might have $.99 American but $1.50 Canadian written right next to it. Sure it's not the best example because the price is probably pre-adjusted to reflect any applicable fees/taxes but you get my picture. Now, if I'm completely wrong, and it just does cost much more then ya, there is still a problem. That problem being that it shouldn't cost that much extra.

2530.10.2007 17:07

I'm Sorry but FOR F*UCKS SAKE!!!!! YOU PAY THROUGH THE NOSE FOR THE DAMN THING, IF YOU WANNA BUY 300 OF EM IN CASH TO WIPE YOUR ASS WITH 'EM, THEN DO SO!!!!!! WHAT NEXT?

2630.10.2007 21:56

Originally posted by WierdName:
This is kinda BS but I'm pretty sure this is legal. Companies have the right to refuse service to anyone.

no then that'll be discrimination which is also against the law

2731.10.2007 16:28

wait until Meizu m8 come out in January. Apple sale will going down.

2831.10.2007 20:28

They have the right to not sell you the phone if they dont want to. All windows at stores say "we reserve the right to refuse you service". Online stores are paid with credit cards, are you going to pay them cash. I wont buy the phone but the threats of lawsuits is total b.s. My only phone is the cordless one at the house.

291.11.2007 1:04
_H06_
Inactive

you know whats B.S, Apple only giving one hundred dollars back to the people that bought the iphone original price and not giving notice before they droped the price. And the iphones batteries are a piece of crap only giving you 300 charges. I suggest you go buy a sidekick or some other phone. But if you must buy this one atleast wait a week, you never know what steveobs has apples @$$

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Nov 2007 @ 1:06

301.11.2007 11:30

Quote by pryme_H:
“Apple is doing this in an effort to help AT&T profit from the purchase of an iPhone.”


Pryme you didn’t read the article they are helping the legitimate users this has nothing to do with Apple or AT&T making any profits. LOL

Quote by DoomLight:
“if someone just made a phone similar to the damned thing. that could be competitive.”


Do some research before you make ignorant comments like that there are plenty of alternatives which are cheaper, better, and have been around for awhile now. Apple never, for the most part, comes up with something new or revolutionary just like his good buddy Gates they steal everything they sell.

Quote by mingman82:
“So what. They can't do anything to you even if they do track you and see that you unlocked their phone...Its just like game councols. Its not illegal to put in mod chips...Its only illegal to play backups of games that you don't own.”


Ignorance is bliss, you are way off here it is illegal to use mod chips they just don’t go after the end user they target the sellers and makers of mod chips if they can catch them. In the US it is illegal to circumvent any protection scheme even with DVD movies for backup purposes this is why DVD X Copy got sued and was shutdown years ago.

Quote by 0ldskool:
“something i find that is really stupid is that the iphone is suppose to come to rogers provider in canada but the iphone is going to cost $800.................................
The Canadian doller is worth more then the american doller so its like buying the iphone in the US for 840.... Any1 else see a problem with this?”


I do and it’s not your spelling, it seems you don’t know what you’re talking about. The CAD is not worth more then the USD and has not been since I can remember. Right now the CAD is at 0.9496 per USD which is the highest I’ve seen it at. The $800 CAD you saw must have been quoted back when the iPhone came out and the CAD was lower, although it still seems high. It is common to have different pricing in different countries I whish they wouldn’t do that but unfortunately it is what the market will bear.

Quote by yojacks:
“Originally posted by WierdName:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is kinda BS but I'm pretty sure this is legal. Companies have the right to refuse service to anyone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

no then that'll be discrimination which is also against the law”


WierdName is correct and even if they take cash, which they could do, they will still require a photo ID and a credit card for a no activation charge if they wish just like DTV does when you buy/lease a new satellite box. Cash is really a mode point here and a reseller, restaurant owner or whatever can refuse to sell to you if they wish, within reason of course.

Quote by _H06_:
“you know whats B.S, Apple only giving one hundred dollars back to the people that bought the iphone original price and not giving notice before they droped the price.”


WOW, what a day, are they coming out of the woodwork or what? Again here we go, Apple or anyone that sells a product are NOT required to give advanced notice in their pricing scheme. I think Apple is either scared to p*ss off their customers or just stupid to give that much back to previous customers. If you’re stupid enough to buy a iPhone for $600 and it drops to $400 the next day, O’well your lose. Maybe we should go after the oil companies when the GAS price changes $.20/gal just after I fill up, wake up!

311.11.2007 19:59
_H06_
Inactive

Apple Fanboy

321.11.2007 20:39

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
Quote by pryme_H:
“Apple is doing this in an effort to help AT&T profit from the purchase of an iPhone.”


Pryme you didn’t read the article they are helping the legitimate users this has nothing to do with Apple or AT&T making any profits. LOL

Quote by DoomLight:
“if someone just made a phone similar to the damned thing. that could be competitive.”


Do some research before you make ignorant comments like that there are plenty of alternatives which are cheaper, better, and have been around for awhile now. Apple never, for the most part, comes up with something new or revolutionary just like his good buddy Gates they steal everything they sell.

Quote by mingman82:
“So what. They can't do anything to you even if they do track you and see that you unlocked their phone...Its just like game councols. Its not illegal to put in mod chips...Its only illegal to play backups of games that you don't own.”


Ignorance is bliss, you are way off here it is illegal to use mod chips they just don’t go after the end user they target the sellers and makers of mod chips if they can catch them. In the US it is illegal to circumvent any protection scheme even with DVD movies for backup purposes this is why DVD X Copy got sued and was shutdown years ago.

Quote by 0ldskool:
“something i find that is really stupid is that the iphone is suppose to come to rogers provider in canada but the iphone is going to cost $800.................................
The Canadian doller is worth more then the american doller so its like buying the iphone in the US for 840.... Any1 else see a problem with this?”


I do and it’s not your spelling, it seems you don’t know what you’re talking about. The CAD is not worth more then the USD and has not been since I can remember. Right now the CAD is at 0.9496 per USD which is the highest I’ve seen it at. The $800 CAD you saw must have been quoted back when the iPhone came out and the CAD was lower, although it still seems high. It is common to have different pricing in different countries I whish they wouldn’t do that but unfortunately it is what the market will bear.

Quote by yojacks:
“Originally posted by WierdName:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This is kinda BS but I'm pretty sure this is legal. Companies have the right to refuse service to anyone.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

no then that'll be discrimination which is also against the law”


WierdName is correct and even if they take cash, which they could do, they will still require a photo ID and a credit card for a no activation charge if they wish just like DTV does when you buy/lease a new satellite box. Cash is really a mode point here and a reseller, restaurant owner or whatever can refuse to sell to you if they wish, within reason of course.

Quote by _H06_:
“you know whats B.S, Apple only giving one hundred dollars back to the people that bought the iphone original price and not giving notice before they droped the price.”


WOW, what a day, are they coming out of the woodwork or what? Again here we go, Apple or anyone that sells a product are NOT required to give advanced notice in their pricing scheme. I think Apple is either scared to p*ss off their customers or just stupid to give that much back to previous customers. If you’re stupid enough to buy a iPhone for $600 and it drops to $400 the next day, O’well your lose. Maybe we should go after the oil companies when the GAS price changes $.20/gal just after I fill up, wake up!

Ok. Perhaps, I wasn't perfectly clear. What I was trying to convey was: AT&T loses money ($18) per every activated iPhone which sums up to $432 per two year contract. Thus, by limiting the number of iPhones and a few added restrictions they (Apple) meet their end of the bargain--to aid AT&T in making profit as well. After all, this is a joint venture; both parties need to make a profit somehow. Although, I appreciate you pointing out all the misleading posts on this thread, you need to find a more tactful way of explaining it.

There is a foolish corner even in the brain of the sage. ~ Aristotle

331.11.2007 23:34

pryme_H, I got what you were saying exactly and agree with you. My post was sarcasm towards the marketing lies that you basically pointed out, I wasn’t hacking on you. That’s why I added LOL and pointed out the fact that they were only doing it for the poor legitimate people, ya right, it’s always about making more money. I’m sorry you didn’t get it, again I though you’d understand my sarcasm.

341.11.2007 23:56

Quote:
I’m sorry you didn’t get it, again I though you’d understand my sarcasm.

It's all good Mr. Movies :) I'm partly at fault too! Take care now and I'll see you around...

352.11.2007 16:10

ill bet a vx10000 that if i stroll into an at&t store and tell them ill only pay cash for an Iphone and nothing more they will take my 20 jacksons with a smile. sales people need sales to eat, period. plus whats stoping people from just getting a 400 dollar prepaid debit card and paying for an Iphone with that?

362.11.2007 16:23
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by georgeluv:
ill bet a vx10000 that if i stroll into an at&t store and tell them ill only pay cash for an Iphone and nothing more they will take my 20 jacksons with a smile. sales people need sales to eat, period. plus whats stoping people from just getting a 400 dollar prepaid debit card and paying for an Iphone with that?
Nothing stops someone from doing that. It just makes Apple look like money isn't the only thing on their mind.

373.11.2007 2:00

Originally posted by emugamer:
I just don't understand why Apple chose AT&T as the sole service provider? Unless it was one of those golf-course deals made with a handshake between 2 close buddies.
emugamer...Im no expert or anything and im sure someone else will correct me if im wrong but I dont think "Apple chose At&T as the sole service provider" rather they SOLD it to AT&T as the service provider. I maybe be wrong but I always thought that it was up for bid and the other major carriers couldnt really give 2 rats...(like Verizon turning it down) and I suppose AT&T thought it would be a good money maker so the jupmed aboard. And now Apple has to do anything in there power to keep customers from being able to use the phone on other networks since they have been paid for exclusivity. And I read that At&T have like 2 months left of there exclusive contract anyway after that more than likley Sprint and Verizon will get it and it will probably be a better version with all bugs fixed and possibly more features and what not. Not only that its going to be released in Europe to Orange I believe. you and I kno once its there you will be able to buy an unlocked euro version online anyway.

Its all gay to me! Ive been traveling to London every year now and you can unlock ALL phones there LEGALLY and they have phones 10 times better than ours, 5 megapixel cams on them (with ability to make video calls). With all this exclusive BS its stopping competition with our cell companies in the US and we are behind! screw all the Apple hype, my PPC phone can do alot more than the damn Iphone. shoot im on it now and look.....wow I can copy and paste txt! OMG its such a wonderful feature.....yet the over hyped Iphone cant ha! "REAL WEB PAGES" my Ass, I've had real web pages on my phone for what 2 years now. Shoot I can remote into my comp and watch movies, who needs YouTube.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Nov 2007 @ 2:02

383.11.2007 12:28
ericg8
Inactive

WHAT A BUNCH OF WHINEY BABIES!

If you hate Apple, don't buy one. Sheesh!

As for this manuever, it is apparenty the result of people setting up businesses selling hacked phones. They were walking into Apple stores and buying every single phone in stock.

As a result, Apple was routinely turning away real customers that intended to use the AT&T phone service as intended.

As for cash, they will accept it, as it is required by federal law. PERIOD. They do have the right to demand i.d., and they have the right to limit customers to one phone per person.

What amazes me is all of this rediculous spin. Think people!

393.11.2007 14:34

I love my I phone, the technology is incredible.

I wonder, how do you use it in a different network, how do you load music and videos on the phone? How do you manage your contact list?

403.11.2007 15:47

Quote by ericg8:
“As for cash, they will accept it, as it is required by federal law. PERIOD.”


I don’t think so, show us the transcript of this law please, you’re wrong! If I walk into a store to buy something with lets say 10,000 pennies they can, AND WILL, refuse to accept that as a payment. I will need to go to a bank and have that currency counted and converted to a more acceptable means. This is only one example of course there are plenty more…


salsa36, Glad to hear, you better love it for what you paid for it. Read your phone manual as to its features and operation. You should also have software and a cable for it so that you can hook it up to your PC as well, if not buy one. To use it in a different network you will need to get a hacked firmware and flash your phone or have some else do it for you.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 03 Nov 2007 @ 15:51

413.11.2007 16:13

So now a phone has been added to the movie DVD, that you actually pay money for but have no say so in what you can do with it. What else will be next. I have/would never bought/buy anything made by apple. Their stuff is way overpriced. And now cash is no good. I will complain to ATT 'cause I have 2 of their services.

426.11.2007 9:20

The iphone is £269.00($559.950) in the UK but has to be taken with a 18 month contract.

At the cheapest including the iphone it comes to £899.00($1871.357) and at the dearest £1209.00($2516.652).


http://www.o2.co.uk/iPhone-Tariffs.html

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Nov 2007 @ 9:47

4311.11.2007 15:58

Come on apple can not be soo stupid to not realise that putting their phone across all platforms they make more money rather than exclusive rights to just one.

4412.11.2007 17:05

iPhone conference meeting.

1
"Hey guys, how do we make more money?"
2
"Easy!!!!"
1
"How?"
2
"We let people only buy two phones each!"
1
"Genius."

LOL

4524.11.2007 18:24

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
...your spelling...
Are you implying that YOUR spelling is any better?
Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
...a mode point...

...O’well your lose.

You're not gonna win any grammar or punctuation awards, either, so you should really STOP commenting on others' little mistakes. :D


You may now return to your previously-scheduled arguments...

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