After being roundly critiqued earlier in the week for refusing to sell an iPad for cash and instead demanding credit card payments, Apple have relented and changed their policy, after Diane Campbell attempted to buy an iPad using the cash she had saved and was told that, in a move to prevent grey-market sales of the tablet, the Apple Store would only take a credit or debit card. In fact, Apple now claim, the policy was to ensure that people didn’t buy more than two units in the first weeks of sales – “We want to make sure it’s as fair as possible for people to get iPads” according to Apple Sr. Vice President Ron Johnson.
The change means that Apple will accept cash for an iPad, but the buyer will have to set up an iTunes account while at the store. That could actually be a benefit to someone like Campbell, who was planning to use the iPad as her first computer and would’ve been pretty disappointed to get it home only to find it useless until after the first iTunes sync.
Meanwhile Diane Campbell gets a free iPad, hand-delivered by two Apple Store staff, and is back to gleefully praising Steve Jobs. Personally, I’d be more worried about carrying $500+ in cash around with me as I headed down to the Apple Store; at least with a debit card there’s a little protection should you get mugged.