Originally Posted by Apple ][
The scalpers are already lining up 12 hours before the stores open, and camping out. They're organized and have huge groups of people at every single Apple store. They know more about what's going on than anybody else, because they are in communication with each other.
Apple has tried to do something about the Asian scalpers in the past but Apple was warned by the Attorney General that they can't discriminate based on race. So Apple should find other ways to discriminate against them that is not racially based and implement methods to put a stop to those hoodlums.
There's only a few things Apple can do and some they wouldn't want to do because then the blogosphere would go nuts. They should limit purchases to one per customer. They could (possibly) only permit purchases with a credit card (not sure if this would be legal) and only permit one purchase every 30 days per credit card account, although this would have limited effect because most people have multiple credit cards.
They could also (although here's where they might get tons of criticism) not permit account/warranty registrations from outside the U.S. for serial numbers purchased in the U.S. But this could get tricky and interfere with legit sales from tourists, etc.
Also, they could only provide warranty support to the original purchaser. Many hardware companies do this.
Another tact would be is that you go online to get a ticket that has a date/time that you can return to pick up the iPad (perhaps with a credit card deposit). That way, the resellers couldn't line up at 4am or whatever, although there would probably be a market in those tickets and someone would probably write a robot to get those tickets.
The problem with all this would be that Apple would probably get criticism from people claiming that with all these restrictions, Apple is in effect "licensing" the hardware rather than selling it. And I think that's why Apple isn't doing much to stop it. Before the earthquake, Apple probably thought that supply would soon catch up to demand. But if Apple really is relying upon parts from Japan that they haven't yet received, the iPad2 will be in short supply for a long time to come.
But in the end, so what? No one is going to die by not having an iPad 2.