Punters in the US will no longer be able to buy more than two Apple iPhones at a time. And when they do, they won't be able to pay with cash: it's credit/debit card only from now on.

Apple says the idea is to stop people from buying up to five iPhones and trying to make a profit on them by flogging them on sites like eBay.

Apple against unlicensed resellers

"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," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris told the Associated Press.

"We're requiring a credit or debit card for payment to discourage unauthorized resellers."

Apple says that around 250,000 of the 1.4 million iPhones sold so far were bought by people who intended to unlock them. While Apple still makes money on every iPhone sold in its stores, it loses out on the extra revenue it gets from its network partners, i.e. AT&T.

It's been suggested that Apple makes a clear profit of $565 (£276) per phone over two years when a customer buys and activates an iPhone on AT&T. Read: Apple rolling in iPhone money? for more on this.

The Apple iPhone launches in the UK on 9 November. Check back with Tech.co.uk for full coverage.