updated 10/26/2007 9:12:44 PM ET 2007-10-27T01:12:44

Apple Inc. no longer accepts cash for iPhone purchases and now limits sales of the cell phone to two per person in a move to stop people from reselling them.

The new policy started Thursday, said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. Before then, there was no cash restriction and the purchase limit was five per person.

"Customer response to the iPhone has been off the charts, and limiting iPhone sales to two per customer helps us ensure that there are enough iPhones for people who are shopping for themselves or buying a gift," Kerris said. "We're requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers."

More than 1.4 million units of the hybrid cell phone-iPod have been sold since it debuted June 29, according to Apple. It is expected to be a popular gift for the holidays.

Apple thinks some people already have bought multiple iPhones to resell, including those looking to modify, or "unlock," the phones so they work on networks other than Apple's carrier partner in the United States, AT&T Inc.

Apple estimates that buyers of 250,000 of the iPhones sold so far intended to unlock them, Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook said in a conference call with analysts this week.

Apple's attempts to prevent that "unlocking" activity, which included a software update that blocked the workarounds hackers had developed, have frustrated users — and sparked two lawsuits.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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