38% of Macs, but just 11% of iPhones sold in the past 12 months were sold directly by Apple

“Apple’s retail stores are not consumer destinations for all of the company’s products, a new study suggests,” Don Reisinger reports for Fortune. “The vast majority of people who buy iPhones in the U.S.— nearly 80% — do so at carrier stores rather than the company’s own retail outlets. In fact, just 11% of iPhones bought in the U.S. are purchased on Apple.com or at an Apple Store, according to new data from researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).”

“However, buying behavior is dramatically different for Apple’s other products,” Reisinger reports. “Nearly four in ten Macs purchased in the U.S. are bought at the Apple Store. According to CIRP, 30% of Macs are purchased at a Best Buy store. On the iPad side, Apple stores account for 20% of the company’s tablet sales. Surprisingly, Best Buy is the top retail destination for iPad sales, accounting for 25% of purchases.”

“Still, Apple is able to steal some of its iPhone and iPad customers away each year during the period around a product launch,” Reisinger reports. “Other retailers have constrained supply during an iPhone or iPad product launch, according to CIRP, leading customers to Apple stores, where they might have better luck at getting a new device.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s literally still shocking to us – as we remember the dark days well – to see the number of Mac boxes going out of Best Buy stores today.

One would expect that the more complicated – Steve Jobs would likely say “more capable” – the machine, the more buyers would rather buy from the source as they’d generally expect Apple retail staff to be better prepared to answer their questions than a reseller.

[protected-iframe id=”c0f7564bcff1b3899ebc8488ad132ace-17146794-18685410″ info=”//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US” ]


  1. No surprise at all. As a former Apple retail employee, almost every customer I worked with at the Apple store didn’t realize that they could buy an iPhone at the Apple store. Or thought they could buy it and have to go to the carrier to activate it. Apple needs a huge ad campaign to tell the world that you can buy and activate iPhones at Apple retail stores. It’s been 10 years and people still do not get it. Crazy!

    1. Perhaps the customer feels they get better information about the plan they are purchasing if they go to the carrier. Or if undecided on the phone do a bit of device comparing which is not possible at the Apple store.

  2. Apple could sell more Macs if they had more emphasis on them in their own stores instead of iPhones and iPads you can buy literally anywhere. Why is there a DJI drone at the Apple store but few HomeKit devices or a hub for my Mac?

    Another thing that could boost sales is releasing an updated Mac mini and the Mac Pro replacement that is NOT an iMac.

  3. Not surprising. There are about 300 Apple Stores in the US. Compare that with tens of thousands of carrier stores and other outlets like Best Buy and Costco. One estimate I heard a while back was that there were approx 20,000 other retail outlets in the US to buy an iPhone outside of an Apple Store.

    Then there is what Brandon noted above: many people do not know they can get an iPhone activated in an Apple Store. I’ve had to inform some of my friends of this. I agree with Brandon: Apple needs to run a few nationwide TV ads to clear this misconception up. Instead when they run an iPhone ad it always just mentions a carrier at the end. I guess this is one way that Apple gets carriers to pick up some of the cost of the ads.

  4. There are not many Apple Stores close to many people. The closes Apple Store to Columbia, SC is Augusta, GA with a smaller population, so we order from Carrier. Ordering online from Apple has become a hassle & when I order from Carrier, I get 1 bill instead of 2. Just simplicity.

  5. “38% of Macs, but just 11% of iPhones sold in the past 12 months were sold directly by Apple”

    Like DUH!

    iPhones are sold at quizillions of outlets of which Apple Stores (real and online) are just a fraction, and many others offer discounts.. There are far fewer outlets for Macs.

  6. You can buy an iPhone in London, UK from a famous department store on the same street as the Apple store at the same price with a full two year warranty (double Apples). Their tech team is excellent too.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.