Apple Store a Big Source of Cellphone Sales; Best Buy Is Key for Carriers

By Joe Rizzo November 26, 2013

Where is the best place to buy a phone? Possibly one of the biggest locations there is to check out almost every type of phone out there would be Best Buy, although I personally feel that I’m in overload mode when I walk through the cell phone section. Sometimes too much gets in the way of making the right decision.

Be that as it may, companies like Samsung have set up their own stores within Best Buy. I guess that is in the spirit of their competition. Apple has also set up mini-stores inside the brick and mortar location known as Best Buy.

These two are not the only companies to set up shop within Best Buy. Even though Best Buy was close to bankruptcy before re-establishing itself, companies like Google and Microsoft are also interested in having a little piece of land that they can call their own.

While it is true that a lot of people handle their new smartphone purchases online either through Amazon or eBay, the physical carrier stores still tend to be where more customers end up. It seems that Apple and Best Buy have emerged as significant channels.

Although Apple only sells its iPhone, it still accounts for about 11 percent of retail phone sales. As I mentioned above, Best Buy sells just about every phone from every carrier within its walls, it accounts for about 13 percent of sales.

This information comes to us from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) as reported by AllThingsD. According to CIRP’s Michael Levin, Surprisingly, in light of its recent financial troubles, Best Buy has significant power. So, all major manufacturers and operating system producers and even the major carriers, need Best Buy.”

Some of the other large store chains that also sell cell phones include Target, Walmart and Costco. Together these stores account for about 12 percent of sales. Based on CIRP’s survey, that is close to what both Apple and Best Buy do individually.

When we look at the major carriers, we see that Verizon holds the lead with 57 percent, meaning that it has the largest proportion of sales. The others are not that far behind. The survey shows that the remaining three major carriers each get somewhere in the neighborhood of about half their sales from their own stores.

If we just look at the iPhone, Apple accounts for about 25 percent of iPhone sales. We have AT&T generating 21 percent and Verizon 18 percent of iPhone sales. At Best Buy, sales of the iPhone account for 13 percent, while Sprint, Amazon and the mass retailers each account for five percent.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

TechZone360 Contributing Writer

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