Can Apple more than triple the percent of iPhones sold at its retail stores, pumping up sales of its flagship smartphone?

While CEO Tim Cook is pushing the idea, some observers question whether the goal of selling half of all iPhones in Apple Stores is in fact attainable.

The Apple CEO says he’d like in-store sales of iPhones – now at fifteen percent – to match the fifty percent of handsets serviced by Apple Store Geniuses. Currently, around 90 percent of iPhones are purchased either through U.S. carriers or third-party resellers…

“We don’t see how their mostly jammed stores can handle more customers, sales associates and inventory,” Consumer Intelligence Research Partners co-founder Michael Levin told the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD blog.

The comments come less than a week before Apple is scheduled to announce how many iPhones the company sold during the June quarter.

According to Levin, iPhone sales through the company’s retail locations have actually dropped since the iPhone 5 was released last year. Since September 2012, Apple’s share of iPhone U.S. sales fell to fifteen percent, down from twenty percent.

The bulk of iPhone sales come from Apple’s carrier partners, or third-party resellers such as electronics giant Best Buy and the top retailer Walmart.

AT&T, Apple’s oldest carrier partner, sells about thirty percent of U.S. iPhones. As of the end of the June quarter, Verizon sold around twenty percent, with T-Mobile, Sprint with ten percent each, according to the CIRS data.

iPhone 5 Apple Store

To reach the goal of fifty percent, Apple wants retail workers to ask customers in store for repairs whether they would like to upgrade their iPhone. The belief is that the question would enhance the ‘halo’ effect for its other products.

While 52 percent of consumers who go to an Apple retail store to buy an iPhone also own an iPad, only 37 percent of people who buy an iPhone at a carrier also own an iPad.


Earlier this week, Apple announced a contest, asking its store employees to submit ideas on ways to improve iPhone sales. The winner will get a trip to Apple’s Cupertino, California headquarters.

Also Wednesday, Morgan Stanley’s bullish Apple analyst Katy Huberty told investors (via AppleInsider) she expects the company will announce 29 million to 32 million handsets shipped during the June quarter.

That’s higher than the Wall Street consensus of 26.5 million iPhones. Huberty credits higher demand for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S for the more optimistic forecast.

Huberty also predicted earnings of more than $36 billion, topping Apples guidance of $33.5 billion to $35.5 billion, as well as the Street’s more cautious $35.1 consensus.

How it actually plays out will have to wait until July 23.

  • Boss

    If they listened more to their customers instead of stock brokers than yes

  • At

    If place A sells the iPhone for $200 on contract and place B sells the same phone for $150, where are you going to go? I have never paid $200 for an iPhone because Best Buy sells em cheaper and allows you to trade your phone in towards the purchase of a new one. Also, not everyone had access to an Apple store or doesn’t want to wait by ordering it online through Apple.

    • Jeffrey Moreno

      So you’re trading your older model iPhone for what amounts to $50? That’s not very wise and if you’re going to make an asinine comment, then look up the resale value of decent older model iPhones to maybe stop yourself from looking foolish. A better example would’ve been Amazon, but then why should I do your research for you?

      Or you could just keep giving Best Buy your money AND old phone.

      • At

        Wow buddy, just simply making a few non asinine comments. I got $250 for my last trade in which was $100 more than what I paid to begin with. Just simply making a point that if you can buy a phone cheaper somewhere else why drive to one of the limited Apple stores. And how I’m I making myself look foolish when this works for ME, considering best buy had a huge trade in day not too long ago it works for other people too. You my friend make yourself look foolish with the way you conduct yourself.

      • burlow

        it’s $150 for a new phone, and if you trade in, they give you $200+ so with a trade in, best buy actually ends up paying you.

  • Ali

    Not gonna happen, unless apple starts the contracting business, which I doubt would happen.

  • n0ahcruz3

    They should look into it. Because little by little carriers are dropping/refusing the iphone eg. Russian carriers docomo.

  • iphonesintocash

    If there is anyone that can do it it would be Apple. They have the experience to really control their audience.

  • sharp44MAG .

    well this is cool I just received a iTunes Card Code and it worked! If you need a code check out freeitunesforever. com