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UPDATED - Apple: We don't want your stinkin' cash!

Want to buy an iPad and pay cash for it? Apple's store drones will tell you to hit the road because your cash isn't welcome.

[UPDATE: Apple has reversed its "no cash" policy.]

Want to buy an iPad and pay cash for it? Apple's store drones will tell you to hit the road because your cash isn't welcome.

It's an odd story that's been picked up by ZDNet's own David Gewirtz:

According to KGO, a disabled woman named Diane Campbell saved up for months, simply wanting to buy an iPad so she could go online.

Once Ms. Campbell had finally saved up enough, she took her savings to the Palo Alto Apple store, with all her money in her backpack. She brought the iPad up to the counter and presented her money — and was turned away.

Now, I'm pretty sure that the reason behind this refusal to sell Ms. Campbell an iPad is that Apple wants to limit sales to two per customer so that its latest creation doesn't end up on eBay en-masse, and the company is using credit/debit card information to control this. But if this is the case (and if it's not, I invite Apple to correct this), then this really is a very pathetic reason.

For years I've stated that Apple is a cult-like company, highly secretive, full of weird rules, and complete with brainwashed fanatic followers. The tendrils of control-freakery extend to every corner of the company. I've grown to expect this of Apple, both as a customer, a consumer advocate and a journalist. This however, goes too far. Denying someone a product simply based on them not choosing to use a credit or debit card and turning up at the store with cash only makes sense in the context of the company picking and choosing what demographic it wants to sell to (or to be seen with its products perhaps?) simply on the basis of what payment method they use.

Power corrupts ... you know the rest ...