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Best Buy sees steep drop in TVs offset by phones, iPad

updated 10:40 am EST, Tue December 14, 2010

Best Buy drops on poor TVs but helped by iPad

Best Buy today reported a drop in profit for its fall quarter owed to TVs but countered by smartphones and the iPad. It still made $217 million in net income but saw its core home electronics business shed 10.6 percent of its revenue as it saw a low double-digit drop in TVs as well as matching home theaters and movies. However, it saw a comparable increase in smartphones as well as a single-digit boost to notebooks, which it credited primarily to "strength in tablet computers."

The company wouldn't mention the iPad by name but was selling Apple's tablet almost exclusively for the three-month span. Samsung's Galaxy Tab only reached the US in November, at the end of the period, and wouldn't have been a major factor. Best Buy has gone on record in the past as saying that the iPad was cutting netbook sales in half in those retail stores that were carrying the tablet and has just recently begun selling the iPad through its online store.

The shift in attention validates fears from LG, Samsung, Sony and other major TV builders that they would face overstock after a lack of demand. Companies have seen slower uptake of 3D than hoped for, leading chains like Best Buy to offer free PS3s and otherwise slash prices to sell the sets. Analysts have already observed that the market was reaching saturation and that many customers are now buying extras like iPads as they either already have a good TV or would rather spend less on a genuinely different device.

The shift also shows a relative lack of success in keeping TV prices high through feature additions, including 3D and Google TV.

By Electronista Staff


  1. rumplestiltskin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010


    It's not's the staff, stupid.

    Go into any BestBuy store and experience how poorly the management controls its salesforce. You can't even walk into the TV or audio sections without earplugs; the grunts have the volume turned up so loud it's unbearable. Frankly, the purchasing experience is abyssmal. No amount of new, cool hardware can fix that.

  1. macjockey

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jun 2004


    no margin

    there is a lot more profit in big screen televisions than iPads.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    I almost never go to Worst Buy

    there was one time when I needed a printer cartridge badly, wasn't worth driving the extra 5 miles each way to Fry's for just one item. (Before I found the guy I around the corner who fills up cartridges with 3x the ink the manufacturer gives you, at 1/3 the price)

    other than that, I don't know if it's still the same as when I went there more regularly, when the sales people knew nothing about the products they were selling other than what made them the most in spiffs. Got tired of people who clearly didn't know what they were talking about, continually trying to sell me computer hardware that was expensive but wrong for my purposes.

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