updated 07:44 pm EST, Mon November 25, 2013
Cook initiative to sell more iPhones in-house making progress
A new study has revealed the startling statistic that Apple's retail stores are one of the biggest sellers of cell phones outside carrier-direct and carrier-store sales. The Apple Store chain now sells about 11 percent of all cell phones bought in the US, and is responsible for roughly 25 percent of all US iPhone sales. The study, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, puts Apple's retail stores just behind Best Buy (with 13 percent of US cellphone sales).
Apple CEO Tim Cook had said this past summer that he would like to eventually see Apple Stores handling about half of all iPhone sales. Phones sold in Apple Stores still mostly go through carriers, so the shift would not really affect the providers themselves - but such a change would likely hurt cellphone franchise and "authorized agent" stores that aren't directly owned by carriers.
His plan appears to be already showing results, with Apple's share of iPhone sales up from 15 percent of total US sales as reported by the summer edition of the CIRP report. Also worth noting is that Apple's share of the entire US cellphone market comes only from sales of its three current iPhone models, even though it almost equals the total cellphone sales of the Best Buy chain - which not only has many more stores and outlets than Apple, but sells both iPhones and a wide assortment of Android and Windows Phone cellphones, including all the name flagship models.
This would suggest that the bulk of Best Buy's phone sales are also iPhones, though the evidence is not conclusive. It also suggests that even in retailers where the iPhone is able to be compared against its rivals, the iPhone does very well.
The Apple Stores are already the number-one individual seller of iPhones, accounting for a quarter of all US iPhone sales, reports AllThingsD. AT&T, the iPhone's original launch partner and still the most popular carrier for iPhone buyers, sells about 21 percent of all US iPhones, with Verizon accounting for 18 percent. Best Buy itself is in fourth place, selling 13 percent of all US iPhones - by coincidence, the same percent of all cellphones it sells in the US market. Sprint and other iPhone resellers account for about five percent each of iPhone sales.