Cook’s plan: Grab iPhone sales share from resellers

“Even as Apple is reinforcing its image as a company trying to improve the human experience, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly told retail store leaders he’s interested in more iPhone revenue, by taking sales away from resellers and bringing it to Apple’s own retail stores,” Gary Allen reports for ifoAppleStore.

“As first reported by the 9to5Mac Web site, Cook’s remarks seem to contradict the company’s retail culture that focuses on excellent customer service and satisfaction, not profits,” Allen reports. “In fact, Apple’s last top retail executive, John Browett, was fired last October largely because he focused more on sales, market share and profits than customer service. But Cook’s three-hour talk to the retail team raises a bigger question about how the current number of stores and staffing levels will handle the millions of additional customers he wants to bring into the stores.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. … Say what?

    1) Why shouldn’t a company want to get more people into its own stores, and 2) why are “more sales” and “excellent customer service” mutually exclusive to this knuckle-dragging commentator?

    Apple can accomplish both, and ANY company’s goal should be to get more people into its stores.

      1. I agree. Perhaps the goal s to further excellence in customer service, but having the ability to monitor, regulate and control the buying experience.

        It’s difficult to ensure customer satisfaction is getting tied to your product when stores like Best Buy and Walmart are selling your product. Particularly when they are promoting in house extended warranties, lack of product training, lack of after sales service and support.

        To me this seems like the entire reason Apple opened up their retail stores.

        Added profit may be the result of added service, but that’s certainly no crime.

  2. The main advantage to having more people get their phones through the apple store is that people that go to the apple store for an iPhone will walk out with an iPhone. On the other hand, someone walking into a phone store, best buy etc can be steered to an android phone by the sales staff.

    I’m sure apple has done research to determine what percentage of customers they lose to salesmen earning spiffs from Samsung.

    1. Precisely.

      It must be frustrating, possibly infuriating, to know that all those people who walk into Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or now T-Mobile phone to buy an iPhone often end up hoodwinked into buying a Samsung. My good friend almost did just that. An AT&T salesman did just that — greased him up and down with the story of Samsung now having better hardware, larger screen, all these cool features that the iPhone does NOT. He almost pulled the trigger (and he is a true Apple fan!), because he is one of those old-school people who trust the salesman…

      1. It’s highly understandable. A good salesperson should be able to persuade/convince a customer to his will. I can only imagine how many unaware consumers there are out there who only need a gentle push to fall off one side of the fence or another. It should be relatively easy to convince the average consumer to buy a Galaxy S4 over an iPhone. The larger display alone should be good enough of an excuse to buy any modern Android smartphone over the iPhone because it’s one of the things the few things a customer can easily see and compare.

        But hey, if Apple wanted to provide spiffs to salespeople, they could have turned millions of misses into hits. It’s all fair play when you want to win badly enough. Samsung needs to win badly, so it has to try everything. Timid Cook absolutely needs to step up his game if he truly expects to collect his full paycheck in the near future.

        1. if Apple wanted to provide spiffs to salespeople

          Homey don’t play that. Apple also refuses to pay anyone to port their apps to the Mac or the iPhone.


    2. And that is, of course, the whole reason why Apple has retail stores in the first place. Back when SJ regained control of the company, sales staff at most places where Macs were available would steer customers to whatever POS was offering them a spiff that week.


  3. Well, that is an advantage. But the more simple advantage is that Apple always makes more profit per unit (of anything) sold if it is sold by an Apple Store (physical or online). Because the retail price is usually the same everywhere (for a given market), Apple makes MORE profit if there is no “middle man” (the reseller) to share it with.

    So obviously, Apple prefers to sell ANY product (not just iPhones) from its own stores. There nothing new here…

    1. Selling massive amounts of iPhones through their own stores is not going to work in China. It’s almost going to have to be done through resellers. China is just too big of a land mass. Obviously Apple is getting beaten to death by huge Android sales numbers because of tiny regional resellers throughout the world. I don’t have an answer as to how Apple needs to distribute iPhones to all those millions of consumers except to make pacts with resellers.

      I honestly don’t think Apple should be glutting the market with iPhones and hard sell, but Wall Street has Apple’s back to the wall. No massive iPhone sales numbers means no massive share price. What other alternative does Apple have but to sell more iPhones or evolve another strong area of revenue? It’s going to look pretty ugly this quarter with iPhone sales way down. Every smartphone company’s sales will be way down, but Apple will be made the scapegoat of the pack.

  4. Isn’t this the reason that France raided Apple Retail? Reseller complaints over playing favorites?
    Not saying its wrong. I remember listing to a women buying an iPod for her son and the salesman trying very hard to get her to buy a Zune. Haven’t gone into a AT&T store, Verizon store, Best Buy since….

  5. Apple is becoming more like Microsoft every day. Now they are eating those who sell their iTois.

    I have a suggestion for Mr Cook. How about putting some Macs and accessories in the Apple store instead of having it be a showroom for iPads and iPhones.

    Next, how about hiring back many of the good people who USED to work in Apple retail before they were replaced with minimally trained Ken and Barbie types who know the rehearsed lines and little else.

  6. I would be happy buying my new phone from the Apple store, BUT . . .

    I HATE the idea of still paying the same amount for my contract with the service provider when I am NOT paying back the subscription price of the hardware. When I can get a reduced contract at the provider when I show up with an iPhone already in my hand, I will buy directly from Apple.

  7. Great idea. Precedes what I am anxiously waiting for: Apple’s own worldwide mobile network available only to iPhone users. Powerful, free calls, messages, emails, etc. iPhone free, monthly payments keep you in machines less than 2 years old and no data plans! Yea, I dream in technicolor. What Cook is proposing is illegal in France and perhaps some other countries. In fact, Apple just got raided in France to see if they purposely kept resellers from getting as much inventory as they kept for themselves so that they could get rid of resellers. Now, a ridiculous law, of course, and Apple will say that iPhones were rationed according to sales and that creates a vicious circle, blah blah. But I would just as soon get Apple away from mobile providers. Let them live with Android. And take iPhone users off their networks so that they can really learn the value of providing to the best. I hate using Orange in France and Luxembourg. Unreliable, dropped calls, poor fidelity. I think Apple can do better.

  8. My retail experience at apple stores ranges from excellent to best ever. Had a MBP that needed a hard drive cable replaced yesterday. Very out of warranty. Easy to make appointment, charged me only for the (reasonably priced) part and the personality of the “genius” who did it pretty much made my day.

    My point is Tim Cook is right to steer as many Apple users through this experience as possible. It’s a real differentiator.

    I read that Apple retail isn’t perfect but it’s clearly the best, no contest. (Actually my personal experience with Apple retail is that is IS perfect.)

    Best case, AT&T salesman will push push push to sell me UVerse.

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