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Apple a 'bright spot' during lackluster Black Friday kick-off

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Although this year's holiday shopping season is expected to present challenges for many consumer-oriented hardware companies, Apple is already showing signs of bucking the trend with Black Friday Mac sales reported to be better than expected.

Black Friday Observations

"Crowds remain the norm in the Apple Stores that we visited, with some having lines outside the stores even after the initial early-morning rush," Goldman Sachs analyst David Bailey wrote in a report summarizing his firm's observations on Friday. "Checkout lines also seemed healthy throughout the day and Apple continues to take advantage of its 'instant checkout' throughout its Stores to speed purchases for Macs and iPods."

Customer interest seemed particularly heavy in Macs, according to the analyst, who witnessed several shoppers buying Mac bundles that include extended Apple Care protection plans and third-party software titles. Also popular were the company's AirPort wireless networking and Time Machine back up products, which Bailey believes is a possible "reflection of more modest consumer spending this year."

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray was also keeping a close watch on Apple's retail operations this past weekend and saw a spike in Mac sales alongside iPhone sell-through that generally fell in line with his firm's expectations.

Specifically, Munster said Apple sold an average of 13 Macs per hour during the 10 hours his firm observed sales at the company's retail chain on Friday. While the analyst doesn't have comparative data from last Black Friday, he noted that sales of the computers were up from just 2 per hour during his most recent pre-Black Friday checks in November. iPhone sales averaged 3.4 per hour, up from 1.3 per hour.

"While iPhone sales should get an uptick from holiday giving, it appears that uptick will be minimal," he added. "We did attempt to count iPhone gift card sales, but recognize there were iPhone gift card sales that [we] did not see. As a result, these iPhone numbers are likely understated."

Over at Kaufman Bros., analyst Shaw Wu had similar observations about Mac sales during Black Friday, which he believes were helped by big discounts from third-party retailers and unadvertised price matching by Apple. In a note to clients Monday morning, he also pointed to strong iPod sales, noting that traditionally well-stocked Amazon.com is reflecting backlog of several iPods, including the iPod touch.

"iPod touch was surprisingly stocked out and now has lead times of 11 days for the 8 GB model and three to five weeks for 16 GB," he wrote. "This is likely due to unexpected strong demand and we find this interesting as iPod touch is Apple's highest-end iPod."

Resellers Extend Holiday Discounts

During Black Friday, Apple discounted a total of 7 Macs by an average of 8 percent. Although the sale has since ended, several of the company's authorized resellers continue to push deep discounts on Macs for Cyber Monday, including ClubMac and OnSale.com, both of which are offering up to $300 off some unibody MacBook Pros and up to $181 off some unibody MacBooks after instant discounts and rebates.

MacMall's own Cyber Monday deals continue match those from OnSale and Club Mac on 9 models, while Amazon.com continues to offer the best deals on the 8-Core Mac Pro, white MacBook, and both Mac minis.

We've updated our Black Friday Mac Pricing Matrix (also below) to reflect a few changes since Friday. The best prices are in bold. The "Discount" column to the far right reflects the amount of savings between Apple's suggested retail price and the lowest price offered Monday for that respective model. Each price is a link that will take you to the retailer's product page for that specific Mac model.

Product Retail Apple Amazon MacMall Best Buy On Sale ClubMac Discount 2.40GHz 15" MacBook Pro $1,999.00 $1,999.00 $1,798.98 $1,798.97 $1999.99 $1,748.97 $1,748.97 $250.03 2.53GHz 15" MacBook Pro $2,499.00 $2,499.00 $2,288.98 $2,287.99 $2499.99 $2,199.99 $2,199.99 $299.01 2.50GHz 17" MacBook Pro $2,799.00 $2,799.00 $2,568.98 $2,567.99 $2799.99 $2,499.99 $2,499.99 $299.01 2.1GHz 13" MacBook (white) $999.00 $999.00 $918.96 $918.96 $999.99 $899.99 $899.99 $99.01 2.0GHz 13" MacBook $1,299.00 $1,299.00 $1,234.11 $1,229.99 $1299.99 $1,204.99 $1,204.99 $94.01 2.4GHz 13" MacBook $1,599.00 $1,599.00 $1,485.23 $1,484.99 $1599.99 $1,434.99 $1,434.99 $164.01 1.6GHz 13" MacBook Air $1,799.00 $1,799.00 $1,744.00 $1,699.99 $1799.99 $1,699.00 $1,699.00 $99.01 1.8GHz 13" MacBook Air $2,499.00 $2,499.00 $2,368.98 $2,349.90 $2499.99 $2,399.99 $2,399.99 $149.10 2.40GHz 20" iMac $1,199.00 $1,199.00 $1,144.00 $1,129.99 $1199.99 $1,099.99 $1,099.99 $99.01 2.66GHz 20" iMac $1,499.00 $1,499.00 $1,398.99 $1,398.99 $1499.99 $1,349.99 $1,349.99 $149.01 2.80GHz 24" iMac $1,799.00 $1,799.00 $1,656.28 $1,655.99 $1799.99 $1,599.99 $1,599.99 $199.01 3.06GHz 24" iMac $2,199.00 $2,199.00 $2,199.00 $2,094.00 N/A $2,094.99 $2,094.99 $105.00 1.83GHz Mac mini $599.00 $599.00 $564.99 $544.00 $599.00 $544.00 $544.00 $55.00 2.00GHz Mac mini $799.00 $799.00 $764.99 $758.99 $799.00 $759.99 $759.99 $40.01 2.8GHz Mac Pro 8-Core $2,799.00 $2,799.00 $2,514.53 $2,513.99 $2,799.99 $2,599.99 $2,599.99 $285.01
post #2 of 12
Although I avoided malls on Friday, I was at an Apple Store yesterday that seemed to be very crowded. I probably also sold a couple of iTouches for Apple over Thanksgiving with everyone playing games on my device... a situation I could see being repeated around the country with App Store stocked iPhones and Touches making the rounds in their first holiday appearance since apps came to the device.
post #3 of 12
Crowded in Austin as well. I was at the genius bar and could not see out of the store. They were also very prepared for the crowds.
post #4 of 12
The overall retail market on Black Friday was actually up 3% relative last year. The only thing lackluster might be the net profits if retailers gave bigger discounts than last year. Bigger than usual discounts didn't seem to happen that I noticed, but I don't know for sure.
post #5 of 12
Hiya, id just like to say that the Apple price matrix is a great idea, it makes it easy to find a discounted product without trawling the sites. If only it was also available in UK, also wish it had other apple products too. Apple TV etc.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by perrin21 View Post

Hiya, id just like to say that the Apple price matrix is a great idea, it makes it easy to find a discounted product without trawling the sites. If only it was also available in UK, also wish it had other apple products too. Apple TV etc.

I don't know why, but AppleInsider didn't include MacConnection in their matrix. They are clearly offering many of THE best deals (ending today):

http://tinyurl.com/5qs2cu
post #7 of 12
post #8 of 12
Want to save money - at least on a unibody MacBook? ASK! My wife decided she wanted her own after seeing how much enjoyment I've gotten out of the unibody I bought in October. Today we walked into our local Apple store and told the floor staffer we still wanted the "Black Friday" discount on a 13.3" 2.4GB MacBook with 250GB HD. After returning from a back room talk with the store manager, he said he couldn't do the Black Friday discount anymore but COULD discount everything we bought by 10% today (except iTunes gift cards)!

So that knocked $160 off the MacBook, $25 off AppleCare and $3.50 off a sleeve case. Still had to pay sales tax which Apple has to collect whether you buy at their retail store or online. But the computer savings are only $20 short of the best discount in this article's price matrix. We already own the family pack iWork and Office for iMac (which allows installation on up to three machines), so we didn't have to pay a dime more today for software.

Just a word to the wise ...

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply
post #9 of 12
We are long-time PC users who used the Black Friday price-matching switch. We bought a couple of MacBooks and Time Capsule at our Minnesota Apple Store. The place was packed but we were helped almost immediately by a tech guy working the floor. He answered our remaining questions, worked with us to put together a package and got approval for pricing.

Took it home, hooked it up and everything worked! A big change from our PC experiences.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fhundt View Post

We are long-time PC users who used the Black Friday price-matching switch. We bought a couple of MacBooks and Time Capsule at our Minnesota Apple Store. The place was packed but we were helped almost immediately by a tech guy working the floor. He answered our remaining questions, worked with us to put together a package and got approval for pricing.

Took it home, hooked it up and everything worked! A big change from our PC experiences.

Congratulations, and welcome.

And take our incessant arguing as a fact of an active, committed (er, take that the right way) community.
post #11 of 12
I just bought and iPod for my mom.
post #12 of 12
Everything is "unexpected" to these idiot analysts. How in the hell do they keep their jobs if they're always wrong?
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