Disabled and on a fixed income, Diane Campbell had attempted to buy an iPad using cash from her savings at a US Apple Store.
However, Apple store staff reportedly demanded credit or debit card payment to help prevent grey market sales of iPads, limiting the number of Apple tablets any one customer can buy during the first weeks of sales when demand has been particularly high.
Diane Campbell's plight was soon picked up by an ABC news affiliate, with KGO-TV and a 7 On Your Side report helping to ensure the first time computer user got her iPad.
"Mr. Jobs, give a sister a break, I'm not going to go sell my iPad," Campbell told the broadcaster.
After a period of typically making no comment on the credit or debit card only policy, Apple responded with Sr. Vice President Ron Johnson reversing the policy.
"We want to make sure it's as fair as possible for people to get iPads. About a month ago, we said we'd like you to use a credit card when you buy your iPad, and that was the best way we could think of to make sure that people only bought two per individual," Johnson told KGO-TV. "And then it came to our attention that Diane [Campbell], through your story, was very interested in buying an iPad with cash, and we made a decision today to change that."
Anyone will now be able to buy an iPad for cash as long as they set up an Apple account at the store, the story triggering a company wide policy change.
"We heard about this, you know... we all would love people like Diane [Campbell] to get an iPad, so I called her up and she was very excited and we're actually on our way to deliver an iPad to her house," Apple's Johnson added.
"What I would like to say to Steve is thank you," Campbell told reporters on receiving her free iPad. "I'm so excited, words cannot explain right now."
See also: iPad unlikely to be a hit in the UK