Apple reverses no cash iPad purchase policy in US

Australian Macworld staff
21 May, 2010
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Apple has reversed its previously card-only purchase policy for iPads after the news that Diane Campbell, a Bay Area woman who tried to purchase an iPad with $600 she had saved up, had been turned away from the Apple Store because she didn’t have a debit or credit card. It appears the story caught the attention of Apple brass, who are now allowing customers to purchase with cash so long as they set up an Apple account in store.

Best of all, Apple also delivered a free iPad to Campbell, who was amazed and gratified by the offer. “What I would like to say to Steve is thank you,” she told the local news.

In an interview with the reporter that broke the story, Apple senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson explained that the previous policy had been enacted to strictly limit iPad purchases to two per customer, ensuring that everybody would have a chance to buy one. He also claimed the policy was not specifically meant to prevent grey-market sales of iPads, but it seems likely that it was at least a consideration, given the long lag time between US and international availability.

So often it seems like Apple doesn’t deign to comment on incidents like this, and while the cynical will surely say that this is merely a matter of spin control, it’s still nice to see the company make things right. And it’s hard to argue with the end result: not only does Diane Campbell get her iPad, but now customers everywhere can actually fork over their piles of cash. And, if nothing else, it means Apple will probably sell a few more iPads.

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