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Apple Stores beat Microsoft Store in Black Friday survey

updated 12:06 pm EST, Mon November 26, 2012

Limited survey used unequal data

During Black Friday, Minneapolis-area Apple Stores sold almost five times as many products as a Microsoft Store in the city, according to observations conducted by Piper Jaffray. Analyst Gene Munster comments that his firm spent about eight hours watching the Apple Stores, and found that traffic was up 31 percent year-over-year. An average of 17.2 items was bought per hour; at a Microsoft store, by contrast, the rate was only 3.5 items per hour. All but two purchases were Xbox games, and none of them were of Microsoft's Surface tablet.

The figures are uneven, however, as only one Microsoft Store was watched, and for just two hours. Munster notes that the outlet was across from an Apple Store at the Mall of America.

Focusing on Apple Stores again, Munster remarks that the most popular capacity for the iPad mini, the 16GB, was in short supply during Black Friday. Mac sales are allegedly being affected by the new iPad, and a potential slowdown may be coming ahead of the launch of the overhauled iMac. Piper Jaffray recorded sales of 11 iPads per hour, which is actually down from 14.8 per hour last year, but Munster suggests this may just mean sales moved online. He currently estimates that combined iPad and iPad mini sales will be up 62 percent year-over-year.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. Camelot

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 05-11-99

    I guess the weather must be bad in Minneapolis because 17 items per hour, or one every three and a half minutes seems way low to me.
    Admittedly, I didn't spend 8 hours in my local Apple Store over the weekend, but in the time I did spend I'd say that people were buying things at a rate more like one every three and a half seconds than minutes.

    I wonder if he's including things like the self-checkout items, or just counting big boxes walking out the door.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    As much as I want to accept this I can't

    There are three Apple stores and AFAIK only one Microsoft store.
    By their own admission they watched the Apple stores for a total of eight hours and the Microsoft store for just two. In a sales day when you watch is as important as who you watch even on Black Friday. They might have just hit a slow spot
    They counted items, not value of the items.
    Their was no attempt to correct for browsers that went home and bought online, or even bought online at the store for later delivery.

    I'd love this to be true but the study is too flawed to draw any conclusions.

  1. Camelot

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 05-11-99

    Which part of the article can you not accept?

    That Apple sold 17.2 items per hour?
    That Microsoft sold 3.5 items per hour?

    Judging by my local Microsoft store, which is almost directly opposite an Apple Store at the mall, the MS number seems about right to me. Seriously, most days there are more staff there than customers. Last week (before Black Friday) there were SEVEN staff hovering around the door, with maybe 20 people in all (staff included) in the entire store.
    I think there's little doubt that Microsoft's store strategy is more to remind people they exist and aren't the faceless corporation than it is about retail sales. It has to be, otherwise it's a colossal failure. There's no way they're covering the space rent based on in-store sales.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    I almost felt sorry for Microsoft when I read that no Surface tablets were seen leaving the Microsoft store.

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-14-10

    Originally Posted by CamelotView Post

    Which part of the article can you not accept?
    That Apple sold 17.2 items per hour?
    That Microsoft sold 3.5 items per hour?
    Judging by my local Microsoft store, which is almost directly opposite an Apple Store at the mall, the MS number seems about right to me.


    When I agree the numbers MAY be close to correct, a study that is so flawed cannot be used as a source. the numbers, though they may br correct are not based on a reliable process. To do it right they should have:



    • Watched all the stores for the full 12 hours of the shopping day. Similar sample times and sampling periods are one of the most basic parts of this kind of study.
    • Made some effort to categorize the value of what was bought. A mouse, an iPod are in the same size box. A video game and an iPad are in about the same sized box. They only counted boxes.
    • Made some effort, interviews perhaps, to see how many items were ordered. MS might have sold a million surfaces that will be shipped later. I doubt it but the study is meaningless without this kind of correction.
    • Made a correction for three Apple stores vs 1 MS store. It's not a surprise that more outlets would sell more stuff.



    Simply put I like the study but I hate bad methodology.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Can you imagine you got your loved one a Surface? It will be really a disappointing when their friends have iPads. I got my iPad from Best Buy. Apple Store is too crowd.

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    Originally Posted by coffeetimeView Post

    Can you imagine you got your loved one a Surface? It will be really a disappointing when their friends have iPads. I got my iPad from Best Buy. Apple Store is too crowd.



    I'll preface this response by saying I'm a long Apple shareholder, but you should buy the iPad because you feel it meets your needs best, not because of the "embarrassment" of not having what everyone else has.

  1. HeliBum

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-10-12

    Microsoft had a Surface kiosk set up at a local mall yesterday and there may have been a half dozen people checking them out. I went into the Apple Store in the same mall a few minutes later and it was packed wall-to-wall. My wife and I found one corner where we could try out an iPad mini.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Two things I got from this story:

    1. ONLY five times as many products?? Oh dear, that's rather worrying ...

    2. So the MS stores are just really expensive Gamestop outlets. Okay.

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