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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Apple Stores only selling iPhones to US residence/citizens?

Apple Stores only selling iPhones to US residence/citizens?
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Dedicated MacNNer
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Nov 30, 2007, 11:12 PM
 
I read over at another forum that Apple is now restricting sales of the iPhone to just US residence/citizens. Is this true or another ubran legend?
     
Grizzled Veteran
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Nov 30, 2007, 11:51 PM
 
Makes sense.

You need to sign a 2 year contract with ATT at point of purchase.
From what I know of ATT they require a billing address in the US for other customers so I would guess that same applies to iPhone buyers.
If you sign up with ATT with a credit card you need a US issued one.
     
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Dec 1, 2007, 03:27 AM
 
Dunno about residency/citizenship requirement, since you can buy the iPhone without an AT&T plan subscription (you can opt for pay-as-you-go). When buying online, the billing address may need to be a US address, but over-the-counter, where your card is swiped, I don't see how they can double-check that. Not unless they require you to produce a state/government-issued ID (e.g. Driver's License).
     
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Dec 2, 2007, 03:18 PM
 
I can confirm that prior to Thanksgiving here in the US, they sold iPhones to non US citizens. Who knows how it is now though... but your activation is through iTunes, so it would seem silly for a store to say "no you cannot have this locked iPhone" just because you don't live in a particular country.

Killer deal for the Europeans I know who bought one, though: $399 here in the US, vs. $399 Euros across the ocean!
     
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Dec 2, 2007, 06:54 PM
 
I got one in Tampa in October, so it was OK then. For some reason, I would assume that for a simple consumer device (i.e. it's not a shoulder mounted missile launcher*) there would be some sort of legal requirement to sell to whoever picked it off the shelf. I'm no lawyer, but I think a price on an item in a shop is an 'offer to treat' and you accept the offer by picking it up and contracting to it at the checkout - the law of tort. You know, free trade and all that.

(* although this can be enabled once the iPhone has been jailbroken).
     
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Dec 2, 2007, 11:53 PM
 
That makes no sense. I being Canadian could easily have a friend or relative in the US and on my trip down there I might want to purchase an iPhone as a gift for this US citizen.
     
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Dec 3, 2007, 11:35 PM
 
I'm currently in Vancouver, BC, and I've asked some friends about. They were able to get iPhones from the US after Thanksgiving -- they just bought some from the Apple Store in Seattle, WA using their credit cards (which I presume to be Canadian-issued CCs). The no-cash policy for iPhones is in effect, though. They weren't asked to sign up for AT&T service.

I'm curious, though, if they got lucky with their phones having firmware older than 1.1.2, since they surely won't be able to unlock it if the phones came with the latest firmware out of the box.
     
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Dec 5, 2007, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by philm View Post
I got one in Tampa in October, so it was OK then. For some reason, I would assume that for a simple consumer device (i.e. it's not a shoulder mounted missile launcher*) there would be some sort of legal requirement to sell to whoever picked it off the shelf. I'm no lawyer, but I think a price on an item in a shop is an 'offer to treat' and you accept the offer by picking it up and contracting to it at the checkout - the law of tort. You know, free trade and all that.

(* although this can be enabled once the iPhone has been jailbroken).
The contract of sale is only concluded when Apple rings it up and asks you to pay for it. Before that, no commitment between the two parties has been created. Also, free trade cuts both ways. Everyone has a right to refuse to deal. Apple, as a private corporation, could refuse to sell iPhones within the US to people who didn't provide valid proof of citizenship. Indeed, Apple could decide that if you're not blond, hot, female, and under 125 pounds, you can't buy an iPhone.

Get 'em while they're hot, I guess.
     
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Dec 7, 2007, 06:06 AM
 
What we need is to plant a rumor that 3G, HDD iPhones are just around the corner (e.g. announced in January's MacWorld). That way, people would stop buying iPhones, and the Apple Store cronies would get desperate and start selling the things to everyone+dog.
     
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Dec 7, 2007, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
What we need is to plant a rumor that 3G, HDD iPhones are just around the corner (e.g. announced in January's MacWorld). That way, people would stop buying iPhones, and the Apple Store cronies would get desperate and start selling the things to everyone+dog.
Apple would never announce new iPhones at January's Macworld or millions of ones that were bought over XMas would all get exchanged for free.
     
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Dec 9, 2007, 11:59 AM
 
I was prohibited from purchasing an iPhone in two separate AT&T stores in Watertown, NY. Both stores asked to see my driver's license which I did not have with me at the time. One store claimed they were asking for a valid US driver's license to prevent Canadian customers from purchasing the iPhone and unlocking it for use on the networks in Canada.

Isn't this a form of discrimination based on country of origin? I ended up just ordering online via Apple's website, but the whole experience makes me a little uneasy about having AT&T as my wireless service provider.
     
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Dec 11, 2007, 03:26 AM
 
Discrimination based on citizenship is probably harsh and far too extreme, as there are many, many residents who are not citizens. They're probably restricting sales to US residents, and one way of showing proof of residency is by producing a state-issued license (e.g. State ID, Driver's License, School ID, etc).
     
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Dec 12, 2007, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by philm View Post
I got one in Tampa in October, so it was OK then. For some reason, I would assume that for a simple consumer device (i.e. it's not a shoulder mounted missile launcher*) there would be some sort of legal requirement to sell to whoever picked it off the shelf. I'm no lawyer, but I think a price on an item in a shop is an 'offer to treat' and you accept the offer by picking it up and contracting to it at the checkout - the law of tort. You know, free trade and all that.
I also am no lawyer, but from what I remember your interpretation is the wrong way round. Certainly in the UK, when a shop displays a product with a price, it is an "invitation to treat". This is not an offer, but is an invitation to the potential customer to make an offer. i.e. A sign in an Apple shop saying "iPods £200" isn't saying "If you give us £200 we'll give you an iPod". It's saying "If you were to make us an offer of £200 for an iPod, we might very well be interested".

Therefore the shop is perfectly in its rights not to serve you, as it is free to accept or reject your offer to buy the product. Obviously all of this may be complicated by advertising standards regulations, and discrimination laws etc
     
   
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