Apple Stores Eyed For Discriminating Against Asians Over iPad Sales, Report Says

By Patrick Hedlund on June 7, 2010 4:32pm | Updated on June 7, 2010 4:30pm

The state Attorney General's Office is investigating whether two Manhattan Apple Stores refused to sell iPads to Asian customers over smuggling concerns.
The state Attorney General's Office is investigating whether two Manhattan Apple Stores refused to sell iPads to Asian customers over smuggling concerns.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating claims that computer giant Apple discriminated against customers of Asian descent by not selling them its popular new iPad due to smuggling concerns, Politico reported.

The action stems from a Queens assemblywoman’s complaints last month that constituents in her heavily Chinese-American district were being asked unusual questions by Apple Store employees when they attempted to buy the devices, the website reported.

At the time of the complaints in May, the iPad was not yet available in Asian countries, Politico added.

A staffer for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo confirmed that his office’s Civil Rights Bureau had received complaints about the treatment of Asian patrons at a pair of Manhattan Apple Stores, the website said.

Another source added to the website that the investigation was focused on the stores in SoHo on Prince Street and in the Meatpacking District on West 14th Street.

A person familiar with Apple’s policy told Politico that the company briefly included a questionnaire for customers buying iPads because it feared patrons were purchasing multiple devices for distribution aboard.  

The Cuomo staffer added that Apple has been cooperative during the investigation and that the matter will “be resolved expeditiously and fairly,” Politico reported.

New York's flagship Apple Store on Prince Street in SoHo.
New York's flagship Apple Store on Prince Street in SoHo.
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Flickr/François @ Edito.qc.ca

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