Can Apple really sell 50 percent of all iPhones through Apple Retail Stores

“Apple sells a lot of iPhones through its retail stores — but not nearly as many as it would like,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD. “Indeed, at a recent gathering of Apple Store leaders, CEO Tim Cook said he was dismayed that only 20 percent of all iPhones are sold through Apple Stores, and that he’d like to see that number rise in the months ahead.”

“Cook would like to see more of Apple’s iPhone sales made through the company’s own stores, something along the line of 50 percent — the percentage of iPhones serviced at the company’s Genius Bars,” Paczkowski reports. “Question is, can it?”

Paczkowski reports, “According to new analysis shared with AllThingsD by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), raising Apple Store iPhone sales to the level Cook is asking is a potentially difficult proposition.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. First factor out the military (ours are tax great an exchange, and while iPhones are initially out of stock nationwide, they can often be found at an exchange). Then factor out anyone who isn’t in a large enough city to have an apple store. I think we’re already approaching 30% of business lost. So they’re needing close to 90% of people whom it would be reasonable to go to an apple store. They’ll never get there. I love the apple store. I’ll buy a computer there. But it’s cheaper for me to buy an iPad or iPhone at the exchange.

    1. Exactly.

      I’d be surprised if, world wide, 50% of all iPhone users live within an hour’s travel of an Apple store, and the vast majority of those who live outside that hour travel radius have a non-Apple store that sells iPhones.

      If you eliminate that 50% and then eliminate the additional percentage that can buy them less expensively at some place other than an Apple store, then it is a virtual impossibility that Apple could ever reach 50% of ALL iPhones sold through Apple stores.

  2. If the people who go to an ATT store only knew hw much easier buying or upgrading is at an Apple Store – Apple would sell 99.9% of iPhones.

    I like ATT cell service and telephone CS – but the people in the front of the stores are the dual, don’t really know anything other than cash register to make a sale.

    Walkout of ATT with your iPhone, you will need to go back or call with an issue. GO to the Apple Store and walk out and not.

    And it’s just not the iPhone leaving from ATT. Samsung, Nokia – any of them. I wonder if some of the people in the ATT stores have ever used a computer.

  3. Not unless Apple can price match.

    I bought both my iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 from Radio Shack because they had the best deal. In fact, they gave me $150 trade-in on my 2-year old iPhone 4 and had the iPhone 5 on sale (December 2012) for $159. To top it off, I received another $20 in vouchers for future purchases.

    I walked to the Apple store in the same mall and they agreed to price match, but didn’t offer a trade-in nor couldn’t match the vouchers. The Apple Store employee told me I was better off buying it at Radio Shack.

    I’ve heard rumors that Apple may begin accepting trade-ins, so possibly to address this problem.

  4. I may be an exception, but I far prefer my local AT&T store (2 mi away) versus the local Apple Store (30 mi away). For that matter, I’ve never had a really good experience in an Apple store; I almost always order my computers on-line, iPhones come from the AT&T store where I can get all my phones connected and reworked before I walk out the door (family plan, typically do “trickle down” phone swapping when a new phone comes out).

    Of course, the best thing about AT&T is that I can walk in, get my phone, get it working, and walk out. If I try that at my (semi) local Apple store, they tell me to make and appointment and come back three days later. FAIL!

  5. I just love how the press spins this.

    Tim did say he wanted to significantly increase the number of phones sold through the Apple stores. (What CEO would NOT say that?) He wants to greatly increase it from 20%.

    If the sales went from 20% to 30% (a 50% increase in Apple store iPhone sales) would he be very happy? Yes.

    Did he set a goal of 50% of overall iPhone sales done exclusively through the Apple stores and tell everyone they needed to meet that goal? Absolutely not. However, that’s not the way this guy is spinning it.

    There are many good things and many bad things you can say about Tim. You can’t say he’d set a goal that for his staff that is extremely likely impossible to meet.

  6. Apple may think of changing the display layout for their phones. A dedicated iPhone area with iPhones displayed closer to eye-level and with focused lighting. The iPhone 5 is a gorgeous device, and people should know that.

  7. Apple created the problem in the first place. As a former Apple Business Manager selling B2B there were so many restrictions limiting how many iPhones & iPads we could sell. The explanation was to protect the “customer experience”. In essence they didn’t want my in-store B2B team selling through the store inventory each day at the expense of individual consumers. My four Business Specialists in the back of the store could sell more phones over the phone or e-mail than all the specialists on the floor combined. Plain and simple our hands were tied. When a new iOS product came out we were limited to 10% of the inventory. The Apple Retail Market Leaders and Retail Leadership need to pull their heads out of the sand and allow the in-store inBusiness Teams to do their jobs. The Business Specialists were wasted resources, and Retail Managers constantly pulled them away from the phones to help on the floor with single transactions. They need to be on the phone like the AT&T, Verizon, & other B2B telesales which are selling 10, 50, or 100+ phones at a time. It was ridiculous the steps I had to go through and approvals just to sell 20 or more phones. I doubt any other company or even Apple Enterprise Sales had to go through that.

    1. Precisely correct, I know someone that works for Sprint and they are constantly placing orders for business in large numbers.
      The other issue is an individual can walk into a Radio Shack trade in an iPhone4S, get $200 and buy an iPhone 5 while getting $50 back.
      Just happened to a friend. I don’t think Apple is going to drop their drawers like that.

  8. Well, if Verizon keeps pushing its customers to Android phones, that should keep its percentage of iPhone sales down and Apple’s up by comparison.


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