Their excuse: scalpers.
Because Apple limits the number of unlocked phones, the brokers – sometimes called "sharks" – recruit homeless people and the elderly to wait in line and buy phones on their behalf. The phenomenon lasted for months outside Apple's downtown Portland Apple Store after last year's September launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.Well, if they really want to solve the problem I have another solution for them. Rather than screwing the residents in the four out of the five states without sales taxes that have Apple stores (Montana has no sales tax, but it also has no Apple store), I suggest they close their stores in the those states. That way they never have to worry about the problem ever again. It's obvious to me that if they do it this time that they'll do it with other products in the future. So why bother having a store location where their most popular products won't be available to those walking in? If they have to order it, why not just go online and do it and don't waste the time or gas to go there? The very reason for a store in New Hampshire no longer exists if their customers can't buy what they want from them.
While sharks patrol Apple stores all over the country, they are especially visible in Portland. That may be because Oregon doesn't have a sales tax, so sharks operating here can add several percentage points to their profits by getting their phones.
I think Steve Jobs would be pissed that someone in Apple would pull this stunt. After all, Apple still gets the sale. But with this giving a high hard one to those folks fortunate enough to live in states with no sales tax (like me), I think some of the people in those states might tell Apple to 'piss off'. One acquaintance of mine changed their mind about buying one when they realized they would have to go out of state and pay their sales tax just to be one of the first to get an iPhone 6. Said she “Screw it. If they don't want to sell me a phone I'll oblige them. They lost me, period.”
I know Apple won't care, but it is making them look like buttheads.