A new customer survey has revealed that electronics seller, Best Buy, sells almost as many as Apple does directly. The 1,100 Best Buy stores are responsible for 13 per cent, whereas Apple sells 15 per cent of its own iPhones.
The survey, carried out by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), was conducted in December 2011, January and February 2012, asking US iPhone buyers where they purchased their new Apple handsets.
The majority of buyers still prefer to purchase through their carrier, with AT&T accounting for 32 per cent of sales and Verizon, 30 per cent. Sprint, a smaller U.S. carrier, only began selling iPhones last year, representing 7 per cent of domestic sales in the US. Only 24 per cent of purchasers prefer to buy online, and this figure was largely due to online pre-orders.
"Apple Stores and the Apple Web site are tremendously productive, but they are limited by their relatively small retail footprint," explained Josh Lowitz from CIRP. "There are four times as many Best Buy stores, and probably 20 times as many AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint stores, so aggressive distribution through all these channels is critical to Apple's U.S. strategy."