Apple computer has decided that your money isn't good enough any more to buy their new iPhones. They are no longer accepting cash as payment for the product and limiting sales to two per person. Is this even legal?
They estimate that of the 1.4 million iPhones sold so far, about 250,000 of them are bought for the purpose of being resold. They don't explain how they come up with this number, but since they were selling as many as five to a customer, perhaps they assumed that anyone buying more than two was going to sell the rest after hacking into it and making it usable on other cellular networks. On the other hand, how do they know that someone with a family of five wasn't buying one for everyone?
When I look at my dollar bills, I see the following note: THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. It sounds to me like they cannot legally refuse cash as payment, but it turns out they can. According to the Treasury Dept, "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." So a bus line can refuse to accept pennies or bills as payment (remember Star Trek IV? "What does that mean, 'exact change only'?"), and movie theaters and convenience stores can refuse to accept large denomination bills (usually anything above a $20.)
So, if you want to buy an iPhone now, you better have good credit and a large limit on your card. And if you plan on reselling those iPhones, just remember that they can trace your purchases now. If an illegally re-programmed iPhone finds its way to the hands of the cops, they will be able to trace the original purchase back to you.