updated 09:37 pm EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Apple tablets top-selling item at most major retailers
A survey done by retail analyst InfoScout based on over 100,000 Black Friday sales receipts from iOS and Android smartphone owners has revealed both expected and unexpected trends: the fact that Apple's latest iPad models were the runaway top seller among both tablets specifically and consumer electronics generally is not surprising -- but that 40 percent of iPad sales went to self-identified Android smartphone owners was less predictable. Even that, however, is not the most surprising finding.
Due to its fire-sale pricing, one retailer -- Best Buy -- reported that its Black Friday sale on the 32GB Microsoft Surface RT tablet (priced at $199 rather than its usual $350) outsold the 16GB iPad 2 (priced at $299), putting the Apple product in second place. At all the other major retailers checked, various versions of the iPad were the best-selling Black Friday item, even though it was not significantly discounted in most cases. Target listed the 16GB iPad Air and iPad mini along with the 32GB iPad Air as its top three sellers overall. Walmart reported the 16GB iPad mini as its top seller, followed by a 60-inch Vizio HDTV set on sale in second place.
Best Buy was also the only retailer to report significant sales of other tablets as well: the Kindle Fire 16GB came in third, followed by the Samsung Galaxy Tab (with the Xbox One rounding out the top five). Walmart's second-, fourth- and fifth-place sellers were all HDTV sets, while Target listed "Beats by Dre" headphones in fourth place and a 50-inch HDTV in fifth. At both Target and Walmart, iPad sales accounted for a higher percentage of sales than nearly all of the other top four sellers combined.
Non-iOS tablets didn't do well at either Walmart or Target: no other tablets apart from Apple's own iPad 2 made the top 10 list at Target, while the two Android tablets that made it into Walmart's top 20 best-sellers (at positions seven and 15) were $50 and $100 Android-powered units from RCA and Nabi respectively that bear no resemblance to flagship tablets actually designed to compete with the iPad, yet are counted as part of the argument that the platform is gaining US marketshare.
All told, Apple products made up 20 percent of all of Target's Black Friday sales, and 6.4 percent of Walmart BF sales. The study didn't reveal percentage breakouts of Best Buy's overall Black Friday, in keeping with its outlier top-selling items. Overall, the iPad took five of the top 15 sales positions across retailers, and "flagship" Android tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD were conspicuously absent from the top-selling lists. Also absent were the higher-capacity and un-discounted iPad Air and new Retina iPad mini models, though in the case of the latter device its absence may be due to a severe shortage at retailers.