Retail head Angela Ahrendts promises Apple won't upsell shoppers on $999 iPhone X

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in iPhone
In a Friday interview, Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts said she's instructed clerks not to try and upsell people on the iPhone X, which starting at $999 may be out of reach for many people.




"Internally we said the tagline was 'an iPhone for everyone,'" Ahrendts told CNBC. "I prefer that we ask you who you're buying it for. If they're 6 or 7 years old, what do they need? If it's someone who's leaning into something else, what do they need? We do that with Mac, we do that with iPad, why wouldn't we do that with [the] phone?"

This year's iPhones are the most expensive the company has ever sold, with even an entry-level iPhone 8 costing $699. A 256-gigabyte version of the iPhone X will cost $1,149, more than some versions of the iMac and MacBook Air.

Preorders for the iPhone X will start Oct. 27 ahead of a Nov. 3 launch. Units are expected to be in very short supply, which could make the product hard to find at retail regardless.

Ahrendts separately commented on the prospect of automation and/or online shopping killing retail stores and their jobs.

"There is a purpose. People want the human connection, they want a place to pick up their products," she said, citing Amazon's own physical stores as evidence. "I think the onus is on retailers, the onus is on us to continue to evolve."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Good honest company. 
    ClarityToSeeRacerhomieXcornchipGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 60
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member
    Oh, how thoughtful.
    /s
    Why would Apple try to up-sell to a product relatively few people will be able to obtain due to production constraints, when an overabundance of the 8/Plus is available?
    edited October 2017 ksec
  • Reply 3 of 60
    "If it's someone who's leaning into something else, what do they need?"

    Can someone translate this into normal English?


    Customer:  I'm interested in buying an iPhone.
    Apple salesperson:  Who are you buying the iPhone for?
    Customer:  I'm buying it for someone who's leaning into something else.
    Apple salesperson:  [slight pause as they remember AA's guidance] What do they need?
    king editor the gratesully54dws-2RonnnieO
  • Reply 4 of 60
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Leaning into something else>> considering a phone that isn’t an iPhone. Simple really. The comparison shopper. 
    bb-15
  • Reply 5 of 60
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    jfc1138 said:
    Leaning into something else>> considering a phone that isn’t an iPhone. Simple really. The comparison shopper. 
    No wouldn’t it be someone balancing iPhone 8 and iPhone X options? That’s how I read it. 

    cpsro said:
    Oh, how thoughtful.
    /s
    Why would Apple try to up-sell to a product relatively few people will be able to obtain due to production constraints, when an overabundance of the 8/Plus is available?

    You’re really bi**ing that Apple isn’t pushing their more profitable model onto us?...

    Reminds me of the iHaters who were bit**ing about Apple giving free 4K updates to users.
    Every good thing Apple does must be twisted into a negative. 

    back to MR you go!!
    SolimacxpressRacerhomieXcornchipNameo_GeorgeBMacStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 6 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,460member
    cpsro said:
    Why would Apple try to up-sell to a product relatively few people will be able to obtain due to production constraints, when an overabundance of the 8/Plus is available?
    Cali is right, and the "upsell" was literally the conspiracy that forum members were pushing after the announcement when the iPhone X price started at $999 and the iPhone 8 series looked like the iPhone 7, despite the iPhone 8 series being an fantastic YoY update.
    RacerhomieXcalicornchipStrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 60
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member
    What does Ahrendts statement even mean? When I worked in retail music sales (in the 1970s) we always had a cheap piano or organ on sale to get people in the store. We would always try to up sell to a better model by pointing out the differences in features and quality. And if the customer stuck with the sale model ,well then, we sold it to them, no problem. I don’t see where asking the customer to at least take a look at the iPhone X is out of line or evil in some way. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 60
    They don’t want to deal with returns, that’s normal. “Suggest it to those who really want it and can easily afford it”. That’s it.
    edited October 2017 cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 60
    Why shouldn't a customer be presented with all of the options available to them? It's a bit insulting to call this "upselling", plus Apple makes premium products. This should be recognized without embarrassment. Heck, Burberry makes clothes that are out of reach for most of the world. Who cares?
    RacerhomieXcornchip
  • Reply 10 of 60
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    “If they are 6 or 7 years old”. Am l the only one to be shocked by this comment? Are there really that many adults buying the latest iPhone for a 6 year old? Do any kids of that age need a phone, let alone a smart phone? 
    randominternetpersonRacerhomieXcornchipmobird
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Apple doesn't need a clerk to upsell the iPhone X, the ridiculously minute 64GB will do that for them.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Someone alert Phil Schiller.
    cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 60
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,804member
    Like all well-run retailers, the staff will be trained to "sell what you got". If there are no iPhone X's in stock, the better be trying to sell 8 and 8+ models.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,460member
    dachar said:
    “If they are 6 or 7 years old”. Am l the only one to be shocked by this comment? Are there really that many adults buying the latest iPhone for a 6 year old? Do any kids of that age need a phone, let alone a smart phone? 
    It was odd to me, too. Odd enough that I re-read to see if she meant that they're replacing an iPhone that's 6 or 7 years old, but that also sounds odd, and seems less likely.
    digital_guycornchip
  • Reply 15 of 60
    dachar said:
    “If they are 6 or 7 years old”. Am l the only one to be shocked by this comment? Are there really that many adults buying the latest iPhone for a 6 year old? Do any kids of that age need a phone, let alone a smart phone? 
    The age of the existing phones in use, not of the existing kids.

    But they may have encountered geek dads asking for the best iPhone for their 6 years old. So...
    edited October 2017 cornchip
  • Reply 16 of 60
    the hard sell is the iphone 8...
  • Reply 17 of 60
    I have never been upsold anything in an Apple Store. I know what I want, I go in, they get it for me. End of story. When I worked there years ago I was trained only to assist people getting what they need or want, and to answer all questions. Was never told to suggest a higher priced option for its own sake, only to fulfill a stated need or requirement. Apple Store shopping is the antithesis of High pressure sales. 
    edited October 2017 SpamSandwichcornchipbshankGeorgeBMacStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 60
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,554member
    I have never been upsold anything in an Apple Store. I know what I want, I go in, they get it for me. End of story. When I worked there years ago I was trained only to assist people getting what they need or want, and to answer all questions. Was never told to suggest a higher priced option for its own sake, only to fulfill a stated need of requirement. Apple Store shopping is the antithesis of High pressure sales. 
    And there we have it: nothing’s changed, which Ahrendts pretty much says in the interview. 
    calicornchipbshankStrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 60
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    dachar said:
    “If they are 6 or 7 years old”. Am l the only one to be shocked by this comment? Are there really that many adults buying the latest iPhone for a 6 year old? Do any kids of that age need a phone, let alone a smart phone? 
    The age of the existing phones in use, not of the existing kids.

    But they may have encountered geek dads asking for the best iPhone for their 6 years old. So...
    Thanks for comments in reply. Hopefully it’s the age of the phones rather than the kids. But still seems a strange comment. Are there many customers who haven’t changed their iPhones for 6 or 7 years? 
  • Reply 20 of 60
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,460member
    I have never been upsold anything in an Apple Store. I know what I want, I go in, they get it for me. End of story. When I worked there years ago I was trained only to assist people getting what they need or want, and to answer all questions. Was never told to suggest a higher priced option for its own sake, only to fulfill a stated need of requirement. Apple Store shopping is the antithesis of High pressure sales. 
    Neither have I, but I also walk in knowing exactly what I want. Your inside knowledge as a store rep is more telling, but I wonder if that was before Ahrendts started or if things have changed. Her saying anything makes me wonder if supplies are so constrained (and/or profit per unit and/or profit margins) that they won't even be advertising it demo models this calendar year.
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