Dongles & AirPods emerge as most popular Apple products at Best Buy

Posted:
in iPhone
Possibly to the retailer's chagrin, the bestselling Apple products at Best Buy may be accessories rather than the iPhones, iPads, and Macs they're made for.

iPhone 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter


During the past two years, the most popular Apple products overall have been the 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter for headphones, and the 3.3-foot USB-C-to-Lightning cable, Ceros indicated on Friday. The situation appears to have switched up in the June quarter, but still saw AirPods take over first place.

As of Aug. 14, AirPods were holding on to the top spot, followed by the 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter. The $999 base configuration of the MacBook Air ranked third.

iPhones may be doing better than it appears, as iPhone numbers are based on color and carrier combinations, Ceros noted. At the same time, most iPhone shoppers are believed to prefer Apple or carriers over third-party retailers.

Apple began omitting a 3.5mm jack on iPhones starting with 2016's iPhone 7, nudging buyers towards Bluetooth and Lightning instead. The move was controversial, as the 3.5mm format is still an audio industry standard, and indeed Apple has included the 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter with all iPhones since then as a concession.

Multiple reports have suggested that Apple might not include the adapter with 2018 iPhone models, expected to be announced next month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 46
    Amazon, Costco, Target and Walmart are my go-to sources these days. Best Buy is a place I actively avoid.
  • Reply 3 of 46
    You dont get rich by including useful ports in hardware.
    anantksundaramkestral
  • Reply 4 of 46
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 303member
    I admire Apple for having the cajones, before anyone else in the industry did, to leave behind people who still want to charge their phones at the same time as listening to the headphones (whether phone calls or music), and having yet another worry in the back of their mind about the battery lasting until they're done, or carrying and plugging in an adapter. Only Apple was in a position to do this, no one else could have pulled it off.
    kirkgraycgWerksanantksundaramchristopher126
  • Reply 5 of 46
    ... is popular (dongles) really the best term, or might another be necessary evil...?
    kirkgray
  • Reply 6 of 46
    You dont get rich by including useful ports in hardware.
    Sure you do. What makes you say the many ports in Apple products, including standard ports like USB-C, aren’t useful?

    When it comes to the legacy analog headphone jack, I got the 7 and then the X and it’s never been an issue since I either used the digital headphones in the box (like most people), or BT.
    edited August 2018 lamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 46
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Best Buy is no good at selling Apple products. They know nothing.
    claire1LukeCage
  • Reply 8 of 46
    A few months back I picked up a lightning to USB adapter at Best Buy. They wanted $3 or so more than Apple charges. A manager had to get involved to match the Apple Store price. Amazing.
  • Reply 9 of 46
    Sure you do. What makes you say the many ports in Apple products, including standard ports like USB-C, aren’t useful?
    What’s the plan for USB-C? Will they create an entirely pointless USB-D to put on printers and peripherals for no other reason than to force people to buy special cables, or is USB-C finally going to create a same port standard on both ends of the system?

    Any port shape transition is going to take time, and we’ll see whiners for the entire process.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 46
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,109member
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    I stopped going there after I bought my plasma TV ten years ago and the guy kept trying to sell me an $80 gold HDMI cable because it made a sharper picture. I asked how that could possibly be given it's a digital connection, and he just stared at me. 
    LukeCagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 46
    Sure you do. What makes you say the many ports in Apple products, including standard ports like USB-C, aren’t useful?
    What’s the plan for USB-C? Will they create an entirely pointless USB-D to put on printers and peripherals for no other reason than to force people to buy special cables, or is USB-C finally going to create a same port standard on both ends of the system?

    Any port shape transition is going to take time, and we’ll see whiners for the entire process.
    I don’t know of any consumer printers that had special cables designed to force people to buy them. Parallel ports, which were common on printers, had more bandwidth than serial ports, which other peripherals used and was smaller. The speed was worth the size on a device like a printer. Industry switched to USB as it was both again faster but also smaller. It was engineering, not a conspiracy. 

    Agreed on the second point tho. 
    edited August 2018 lamboaudi4watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 46
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,577member
    You dont get rich by including useful ports in hardware.
    Sure you do. What makes you say the many ports in Apple products, including standard ports like USB-C, aren’t useful?

    When it comes to the legacy analog headphone jack, I got the 7 and then the X and it’s never been an issue since I either used the digital headphones in the box (like most people), or BT.
    Evidently it's still an issue for a whole lot of people, since the 3.5mm-lightning dongle is one of the most popular products. Unless you argue that people are buying them just to look cool. Presumably these people would find a 3.5mm jack immensely useful, since it would save them going to Best Buy to buy a dongle.

    Sure you do. What makes you say the many ports in Apple products, including standard ports like USB-C, aren’t useful?
    What’s the plan for USB-C? Will they create an entirely pointless USB-D to put on printers and peripherals for no other reason than to force people to buy special cables, or is USB-C finally going to create a same port standard on both ends of the system?

    Any port shape transition is going to take time, and we’ll see whiners for the entire process.
    I don’t know of any consumer printers that had special cables designed to force people to buy them. Parallel ports, which were common on printers, had more bandwidth than serial ports, which other peripherals used and was smaller. The speed was worth the size on a device like a printer. Industry switched to USB as it was both again faster but also smaller. It was engineering, not a conspiracy. 

    Agreed on the second point tho. 
    I think he was referring to the annoying USB A-USB B cables required for printers.
    cgWerksavon b7retrogustogatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 46
    claire1claire1 Posts: 510unconfirmed, member
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    I stopped going there after I bought my plasma TV ten years ago and the guy kept trying to sell me an $80 gold HDMI cable because it made a sharper picture. I asked how that could possibly be given it's a digital connection, and he just stared at me. 
    For the musicians out there:
    Best Buy is the electronic equivalent to Guitar Center.

    AI_lias said:
    I admire Apple for having the cajones, before anyone else in the industry did, to leave behind people who still want to charge their phones at the same time as listening to the headphones (whether phone calls or music), and having yet another worry in the back of their mind about the battery lasting until they're done, or carrying and plugging in an adapter. Only Apple was in a position to do this, no one else could have pulled it off.

    Get out of here with your media-inspired BS.
    I hate how suddenly everyone listens to music while iPhone charges. I don't remember anyone doing that uncomfortable, tangled, 2-wire practice before iPhone removed the jack.

    Reminds me of a stupid youtube video that said iPhone made your wired headphones junk. They literally said that.....
    StrangeDayswylyquimbywatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 14 of 46
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    That makes no sense because Best Buy price matches. I showed them the education pricing of my 2013 MBP and they honored it. All I had to do was pull up the website on one of their computers. 
  • Reply 15 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    claire1 said:
    I hate how suddenly everyone listens to music while iPhone charges. I don't remember anyone doing that uncomfortable, tangled, 2-wire practice before iPhone removed the jack.
    I do it every time I go for a longer-than-few-minute drive in the car.

    Also, some people (like my wife and son) aren't habitual device-chargers, so they often seem to end up in a state where they want to use the device when the batteries are low. Not being able to charge while they listen would obviously be a problem. Luckily, they have 3.5mm jacks, as their devices are from before Apple lost their minds. I'm not sure what will happen come next upgrade cycle.

    In terms of Apple-stupid, removing the 3.5mm jack ranks right up there near the top. Then calling it a legacy port just poured salt in the wound (and forever threw Apple's credibility into question).
    claire1retrogustogatorguy
  • Reply 16 of 46
    claire1claire1 Posts: 510unconfirmed, member
    cgWerks said:
    claire1 said:
    I hate how suddenly everyone listens to music while iPhone charges. I don't remember anyone doing that uncomfortable, tangled, 2-wire practice before iPhone removed the jack.
    I do it every time I go for a longer-than-few-minute drive in the car.

    Also, some people (like my wife and son) aren't habitual device-chargers, so they often seem to end up in a state where they want to use the device when the batteries are low. Not being able to charge while they listen would obviously be a problem. Luckily, they have 3.5mm jacks, as their devices are from before Apple lost their minds. I'm not sure what will happen come next upgrade cycle.

    In terms of Apple-stupid, removing the 3.5mm jack ranks right up there near the top. Then calling it a legacy port just poured salt in the wound (and forever threw Apple's credibility into question).

    "I do it every time I go for a longer-than-few-minute drive in the car."
    My goodness that sounds tedious.
     
    What I bolded in your comment is actually VERY very very common, which is why I always though "wireless" charging was dumb, especially when Sammy bragged about it. Which is also why I believe Apple will remove the lightning port but add a Watch-style clip-on charger that clips to the Apple logo or the whole back of their devices. OF course before they actually crack real wireless charging.

    But handling 2 cords just to listen to music is ridiculous and never heard of anyone doing it until Apple removed the headphone jack and morons(not you specifically) suddenly parroted the meme against Apple.

    "In terms of Apple-stupid, removing the 3.5mm jack ranks right up there near the top. "
    Kinda how they were stupid for removing the floppy disk drive, the CD Rom drive, SCSI Drive, Mobile Keyboard etc. etc.

    "No but this time's different!"
    Heard it before too.
    edited August 2018 StrangeDaysfastasleepentropyswatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 17 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    claire1 said:
    "I do it every time I go for a longer-than-few-minute drive in the car."
    My goodness that sounds tedious.
     
    What I bolded in your comment is actually VERY very very common, which is why I always though "wireless" charging was dumb, especially when Sammy bragged about it. Which is also why I believe Apple will remove the lightning port but add a Watch-style clip-on charger that clips to the Apple logo or the whole back of their devices. OF course before they actually crack real wireless charging.

    But handling 2 cords just to listen to music is ridiculous and never heard of anyone doing it until Apple removed the headphone jack and morons(not you specifically) suddenly parroted the meme against Apple.

    "In terms of Apple-stupid, removing the 3.5mm jack ranks right up there near the top. "
    Kinda how they were stupid for removing the floppy disk drive, the CD Rom drive, SCSI Drive, Mobile Keyboard etc. etc.

    "No but this time's different!"
    Heard it before too.
    Much easier than spending $50k for a newer car, which probably wouldn't solve the problem anyway. I suppose I could use a BT adapter and only have 1 cable, but it's not much harder to plugin in 2 than 1, and I get better audio quality that way. And, if I didn't plug power in, then the phone goes to 'sleep' unless I go in and change settings (which is a bigger hassle). Also, if using navigation and playing podcasts, etc. it's nice to have it all charged up when I get to my destination.

    So, I guess I have to ask... what's the alternative I'm missing?

    re: wireless charging - Yeah, I suppose a 'mag-safe' like cord/disc could be a reasonable charging solution. But, there are many other uses for Lightning (or whatever DATA port is there). But, seeing Apple thinks a 3.5mm jack is 'legacy' maybe efficiently/reliably transferring data is too? I don't put about any level of silliness above Apple these days. :(  And, I hope they never crack 'real' wireless charging, as that just sounds scary.

    re: 2 cords - Like I said, my wife and son do it all the time. It isn't just to listen to music either, but watching YouTube or playing a game, etc. My son especially does this, as we often don't want to hear all his gaming noise (so make him wear headphones), and the games suck the battery down. I guess I thought I was actually the unusual one, as I'm disciplined about charging every night and use low-power consumption apps and settings, turn my wifi/cell off when not needed, etc.

    re: floppy vs 3.5mm jack - not even in the same ballpark. 3.5mm jacks are still widely in use, and I see no reason they won't be for a long time. They are also mechanically superior to Lightning, which is important on devices people tend to put into pockets (assuming you see the dongle as a solution to the lost compatibility).
    retrogustoclaire1gatorguy
  • Reply 18 of 46
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member

    As of Aug. 14, AirPods were holding on to the top spot, followed by the 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter. The $999 base configuration of the MacBook Air ranked third.

    iPhones may be doing better than it appears, as iPhone numbers are based on color and carrier combinations, Ceros noted. At the same time, most iPhone shoppers are believed to prefer Apple or carriers over third-party retailers.

    They sell Apple Watches too, don’t they?

    fastasleep said:
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    I stopped going there after I bought my plasma TV ten years ago and the guy kept trying to sell me an $80 gold HDMI cable because it made a sharper picture. I asked how that could possibly be given it's a digital connection, and he just stared at me. 

    Oh I don’t know. That’s easy enough to ignore. I bought my 65” TV over a year ago from B.B., and it couldn’t have gone better. They matched the lowest price I could fine, then refunded me the difference between when I bought it and when they dropped it two weeks later, they gave me white glove delivery, on both the original TV which I didn’t like, and the one I kept, and took away the old TV at no extra cost. Friends of mine had the same treatment going through several different models of TVs, delivered and picked up, before they settled on one that was replaced twice with defects, with no questions asked. I don’t think I would ever buy a TV from any other place. I wouldn’t buy an extended warranty from them, though they pushed it on me. I also wouldn’t buy any cables or accessories from them though they pushed those as well. Small price to pay for the service I got.
    edited August 2018
  • Reply 19 of 46
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 303member
    claire1 said:
    Years ago I went into a Best Buy to buy an Airport Express and noticed that they were actually charging more than what it cost at the Apple Store. So I always avoided buying Apple merchandise from Best Buy after that. What I do buy there are the adapters since I usually need them quickly.
    I stopped going there after I bought my plasma TV ten years ago and the guy kept trying to sell me an $80 gold HDMI cable because it made a sharper picture. I asked how that could possibly be given it's a digital connection, and he just stared at me. 
    For the musicians out there:
    Best Buy is the electronic equivalent to Guitar Center.

    AI_lias said:
    I admire Apple for having the cajones, before anyone else in the industry did, to leave behind people who still want to charge their phones at the same time as listening to the headphones (whether phone calls or music), and having yet another worry in the back of their mind about the battery lasting until they're done, or carrying and plugging in an adapter. Only Apple was in a position to do this, no one else could have pulled it off.

    Get out of here with your media-inspired BS.
    I hate how suddenly everyone listens to music while iPhone charges. I don't remember anyone doing that uncomfortable, tangled, 2-wire practice before iPhone removed the jack.

    Reminds me of a stupid youtube video that said iPhone made your wired headphones junk. They literally said that.....
    People have been charging and using headphones all along. You just now hear about it more, which proves the point that it’s a basic use case. But now, it’s not 2 cables, it’s 3: 1 dongle and 2 cables. 
    cgWerksclaire1gatorguy
  • Reply 20 of 46
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,125member
    The last Best Buy I visited looked like it was on the verge of going out out of business. It was very depressing looking but it's still there months later. Perhaps it was just poor management at that particular location. The fact that it sits within a hundred yards of a Costco doesn't help. I almost got burned at a Best Buy one time when buying a higher end video card. I did not know it at the time but someone had already purchased the product, brought it home, put the pricy video card in their own computer, placed their old craparoni video card into the pricy video card packaging, resealed the unit to make it appear unopened, and returned it to Best Buy for a refund. Somehow it ended up back on the shelf and I bought it. Fortunately, Best Buy had somehow marked the package as a return and said it should not have been restocked. They made everything right but it just added another item to the bullet list of ways people are scamming the system. You see similar incidents reported with Amazon purchases.

    Glad to see MacBook Air seeing strong sales in a cost conscious retailer. This may be encouraging if Apple is going to do a refresh on the Air to keep it well positioned in what is not a bad cost driven niche to be in if you're Apple. If Chromebooks and barely usable Win10 PCs (those with 4G RAM and 32 GB storage) own the sub $500 niche and low end Win10 PCs own the $500-$800 niche, having a Mac product positioned on the immediate next tier is not a bad thing for cost conscious consumers looking at a good-better-best scenario in their purchasing comfort zone.  Trying to push a Mac into the next lower tier would involve too many sacrifices unless it was sold as a loss leader. keeping a compelling Air in the game is smart for these types of retailers.
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