NYC SoHo Apple Store accused of iPad-related racial profiling | iLounge News


NYC SoHo Apple Store accused of iPad-related racial profiling

Apple’s retail store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood is being accused of discrimination against Chinese customers resulting from an effort to reduce the number of iPads being purchased for export. Grace Meng, a representative of Queens in the New York State Assembly, has emailed Apple after receiving a number of complaints from customers claiming that Apple employees denied them iPads, demanded to see passports, or otherwise acted inappropriately. “One person was asked why they wanted one since their English was not so good,” Meng told the Daily News. “I want to get an explanation.” In one example, a Queens man was initially told that the store was out of iPads, and was only able to secure one after seeking out an Asian employee. The man claims he was later approached by a manager and asked if he was planning to resell the unit. “I’m just so upset,” the man said. “This is racial profiling.” It is unclear whether the incidents are a result of policy originating from Apple on the corporate level, or if employees have simply been told to be on guard for customers who may be purchasing iPad for resale and are being grossly overzealous in their attempts to do so.

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Is it at all possible that these people were discriminated against because they ARE resellers?

Posted by Anon on May 10, 2010 at 3:14 PM (CDT)


@#1, nah, you know, the world is full of victims.  It’s a legitimate concern by Apple, but they should have a better way to discern who is doing this.
How?  I dunno.  Over my pay-scale…

Posted by sb on May 10, 2010 at 6:32 PM (CDT)


@#1 and what makes hou think that, because they are Asian??? Way to racial profile

Posted by Jeff on May 10, 2010 at 8:14 PM (CDT)


From the main article - “The man claims he was later approached by a manager and asked if he was planning to resell the unit”

From reply #1 - “Is it at all possible that these people were discriminated against because they ARE resellers? “

Living in the UK I am perhaps unfamiliar with the finer points of US law, but what has it got to do with Apple - or anyone else - what a customer does with an iPad after they have bought it? If they want to resell it, for profit or not, what’s the problem?

If I buy a car, or an expensive watch, or a cup of coffee, or whatever, when I buy it and pay for it (cash, not finance) surely it is my property and I can do what I want with it.
If I choose to keep it, so be it.
If I change my mind and sell it, so be it.
If selling it was my intention all along, so be it.

Surely it should be the same with an iPad. What has it got to do with Apple, or any retailer, or anybody else? Why does/should any retailer have any business asking if I’m going to resell it, or refusing a sale if that is what they suspect?

Posted by Pitmonster on May 11, 2010 at 9:10 AM (CDT)


The Apple Store in Sherman Oaks California tried to pull the “we do not have any more iPads” trick on me but failed to convince me, I got mine but not thanks to them. I saw no reason for them to lie about the inventory. It just did not make sense.
I am not sure is just discrimination as much a simple stupidity on the part of some Apple Store managers, nothing I have not seen before at the Apple Store.

Posted by David on May 11, 2010 at 12:26 PM (CDT)


I’m in total agreement with #4.  This is gross negligence on the part of the Apple employee(s).  Not only does he or she deny the individual the right to legally purchase an Apple product, this accusation of profiling and racism clearly made the store and Apple as a whole look bad.  Regardless of intent, it is not the employee’s place to take it upon themselves to be judge and jury.  This is grounds for severe reprimand and/or dismissal.

No wonder the rest of the world often has ammunition to despise us here in the United States.

Forgive me if I sound like going on a rant.  If the buyer is unable to purchase a product at a retailer he will very well legally obtain it from another source, for example Ebay.  He or she may not care about the possibility of forking over extra cash on the final bid for a brand new iPad, so long as they get the genuine article in working condition.  Making a sale and a satisfied customer contributes to Apple being able to keep that particular store open, which should be the focus and mission statement of the individual wearing the Apple staff shirt.

I don’t recall Japanese retailers denying Americans the right to purchase a PS2 when it was new, and people flew out to Tokyo for the sole purpose of obtaining the game console before they were made available in the states.

Posted by 5-Star-5 on May 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


Somebody call the wah-mbulance.

Bigger racial profiling is happening in this country.

Posted by Iggy on May 11, 2010 at 11:22 PM (CDT)


If this is the biggest race issue we have the Country is in great shape, of course they are buying to re sell, thats why I still dont have one but conversly thats how I got my OEM unlocked IPhone…from China works both ways, the good news is the IPads that were sent to Asia are probably cloned by now and on the way back to us :)

Posted by Ken on May 13, 2010 at 1:56 PM (CDT)

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