Attention hoarders, Apple lifts limits on iPhone, iPad, and new MacBook Air purchases

Attention hoarders, Apple lifts limits on iPhone, iPad, and new MacBook Air purchases


There are no iPad or iPhone purchases limits
Buy all the 2020 iPad Pro units you want.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The limit on the number of iPhones, iPads and new MacBook Air models each customer could purchase that Apple put into place a few days ago has already been lifted everywhere outside China.

This means any hoarders who have money left after buying every scrap of TP in their town can stock up on Apple devices, hoping the limited supply will make prices skyrocket.

Restrictions on iPad and iPhone purchases come and go

On March 19, Cult of Mac noted that the Apple Store order page for the just-announced 2020 iPad Pro said, “Limited to two 11-inch iPad Pro and two 12.9-inch iPad Pro per customer.”

On March 20, Reuters reported that this restriction included all iPhone models. No customer could buy more than two of any handset.

Apple’s U.S. website no longer has this restriction. Tests by Cult of Mac done Sunday show that customers can buy as many 2020 iPad Pro, iPhone 11 Pro and 2020 Macbook Air units as they want. Dozens even.

However, some limits are still in place overseas. Apple’s website in China still restricts shoppers to two 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro units each.

A COVID-19 side effect?

Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment, so there’s no definitive answer for why Apple put these purchase restrictions in place in the first place, or why they have now been partially removed.

That said, the company is certainly having trouble keeping up with the demand for the 2020 iPad Pro. Orders placed through the online Apple Store today for some configurations won‘t be delivered until between April 6 and April 8, whereas orders placed last week are set to arrive March 25.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant problems for Apple’s supply chain, likely reducing how many tablets can be produced. But removing the iPad purchase limits suggests some confidence that Apple will eventually get caught up.

Without a restriction, it is now possible to hoard all you can afford, then auction them off online later if Apple runs out. Or maybe the pandemic profiteers with throw an iPhone in as a bonus with each astronomically priced bottle of hand sanitizer. Perhaps iPhones will be used as currency in the After Times.

Cult of Mac's Newsletters

Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.