Apple prepares to expand iPhone distribution points

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Having caught up with initial demand, Apple Inc. is preparing to broaden its iPhone distribution to several prime retailers well ahead of the holiday shopping season, AppleInsider has learned.



Since introducing the handset on June 29th, the Cupertino-based firm has confined sales of the device to Apple and AT&T retail stores, in addition to its online shop. But over the next 4 to 6 weeks, iPhone inventories should start cropping up at other high-profile retailers and prime AT&T wireless partners, people familiar with the matter say.



Among those first in line for the gadget is specialty electronics retailer and Apple's new best friend in the retail business, Best Buy. By October -- and more likely by September -- all Best Buy locations should have iPhones on hand to sell to customers. Lavish video displays, like those erected in Apple retail store windows ahead of the phone's launch, may also turn up at the electronics stores.



Since launching a small pilot program to test Mac sales at 7 Best Buy locations last year, Apple has formed a much closer relationship with the retailer. During a recent conference call with analysts, members of the company's leadership confirmed plans to expand the pilot to 200 stores by the end of September, and 300 in total by the end of the year.



However, in speaking to AppleInsider, those close to Best Buy say the two firms hold a more ambitious internal goal of completing the 300-store expansion by the end of September. By that time, they say, approximately 40 percent of Best Buy outlets will offer nearly 80 percent of Apple's entire product line.



Best Buy stores included as part of the expansion are each being equipped with isolated Apple display areas featuring snazzy furnishings and a mini-theater display with stereo sound.



"Apple is a very strong focus for us [right now]," commented a source close to Best Buy's retail operations. "The displays are incredible and very popular -- they are very eye-catching to our customers."



A newly erected Apple boutique at one of Best Buy's retail stores.



On a related note, that same source recently drew attention to an instant $10 savings on current generation video iPod models that Best Buy has been offering customers at its retail stores. While Best Buy frequently offers such discounts via its online shop, the source notes that those discounts are only extended to brick-and-mortar stores ahead of major product refreshes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Great News! My First "First" Post!!!
  • Reply 2 of 44
    bacillusbacillus Posts: 313member
    Well how about Amazon.com?!?!
  • Reply 3 of 44
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bacillus View Post


    Well how about Amazon.com?!?!



  • Reply 4 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Great News! My First "First" Post!!!



    Way to aim high!



  • Reply 5 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    the source notes that those discounts are only extended to brick-and-mortar stores ahead of major product refreshes.



    Does this last sentence mean we can expect a the next generation of ipods coming soon?
  • Reply 6 of 44
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 904member
    After reading how the ATT employees are not supporting the iPhone because they don't get a commission I'm ready to have some other options for potential customers. Best Buy would be at the top of the list, with Amazon probably following. Then there will be the others, like CompUSA stores that have Apple Shops, Circuit City stores that are working with Apple, etc.



    The next question is to guess if the second iPhone model will be available by the time the iPhones hit Best Buy. That would be rather sweet revenge for the ATT employees downplaying the iPhone.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    wingswings Posts: 261member
    I don't hold much hope for Apple doing well at Best Buy. They never have in the past so what makes them think this will be any different? They never keep the Apple product area maintained, and as long as they have salesmen who will tell their customers that Apple will be dead within 5 years, they aren't likely to be pushing an Apple product (this was told to be by Alex in the Winston-Salem BestBuy store when I was there inquiring about the MacMini).



    Let me tell you about the Mac Mini episode. I walked up to a salesman who was standing at the Mac Mini display and described the kind of computer I wanted to buy. What I described was a Mac Mini. When I was done, he paused for a second, then walked me over an aisle or two to the eMachines products and told me what I needed was a T1842. I'll be making bets that this scenario will repeat itself in nearly every BB store in the country.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    doroteadorotea Posts: 323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post




    The next question is to guess if the second iPhone model will be available by the time the iPhones hit Best Buy. That would be rather sweet revenge for the ATT employees downplaying the iPhone.





    I really don't get it. Why do so many people believe that there is a second genration iPhone coming out in less than 6 months after its initial introduction? New generations of iPods have come out at about a 1 year intervasl, not within 2 months of introduction of a model. Right now Apple has its plate full with iPhone refinements/fixes, Leopard, new iMacs, new version of iLife, iWork etc. Don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wings View Post


    Let me tell you about the Mac Mini episode. I walked up to a salesman who was standing at the Mac Mini display and described the kind of computer I wanted to buy. What I described was a Mac Mini. When I was done, he paused for a second, then walked me over an aisle or two to the eMachines products and told me what I needed was a T1842. I'll be making bets that this scenario will repeat itself in nearly every BB store in the country.



    And so which one did you buy, the Mac or the eMachines one? I guess the point of this story is that sales people in Best Buy stores all over US must be fired ASAP . Looks to me either he was an inept salesman or you did not make your argument very clear to him . More often than not, I sort of always know in advance what I want to get, but still enjoy playing their game until the very last minute, that is before I tell them "Sir your input totally sucks... Thanks but no thanks" . I think you should go back and persuade him to switch to Macs .
  • Reply 10 of 44
    g5mang5man Posts: 91member
    Actually as far as I know all Best Buy Apple stores are manned by Apple employees. They do have Best Buy Employees that help out, but there is always an Apple rep there. The store that I visited showed promise of a good venture between Apple and Best Buy. The Apple rep said that Best Buy was very pleased with the sales of Apple products. He even said on a good day they will sale more Apple computers than Windows machines.



    Apple has good thing going with Best Buy this time around. They manage the display and control the buying experience. Aapl 180 by end of Oct.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post


    And so which one did you buy, the Mac or the eMachines one? I guess the point of this story is that sales people in Best Buy stores all over US must be fired ASAP . Looks to me either he was an inept salesman or you did not make your argument very clear to him . More often than not, I sort of always know in advance what I want to get, but still enjoy playing their game until the very last minute, that is before I tell them "Sir your input totally sucks... Thanks but no thanks" . I think you should go back and persuade him to switch to Macs .



    I've got a friend who works at a best buy. when i mentioned to him a while back about how appleTV would be selling at best buy locations, he gave me a very strong impression that none of their sales people would make any effort in pushing them. (our friendship is based on non-computer topics, obviously)



    I read somewhere that apple was going to be providing their own employees for these "store within a store" locations. I hope it's true, because if not, there are going to be a lot of people being told how much apple's products suck by the employee force at best buy.







    Apple should set up theses mini-stores in wal-mart.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonessodarally View Post


    I've got a friend who works at a best buy. when i mentioned to him a while back about how appleTV would be selling at best buy locations, he gave me a very strong impression that none of their sales people would make any effort in pushing them. (our friendship is based on non-computer topics, obviously)



    I read somewhere that apple was going to be providing their own employees for these "store within a store" locations. I hope it's true, because if not, there are going to be a lot of people being told how much apple's products suck by the employee force at best buy.







    Apple should set up theses mini-stores in wal-mart.



    It might give them a ton more stores, but it will DESTROY their image, and EVVERYTHING they have worked towards.





    NO WAL MART!
  • Reply 13 of 44
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Quote:

    Let me tell you about the Mac Mini episode...



    Untrained unskilled people will ruin any good idea. There is a fine restaurant with the finest food you can have and the most expensive luxury decor but throw in a clueless waiter and EVERYTHING is spoiled forever!
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wings View Post


    I don't hold much hope for Apple doing well at Best Buy. They never have in the past so what makes them think this will be any different? They never keep the Apple product area maintained, and as long as they have salesmen who will tell their customers that Apple will be dead within 5 years, they aren't likely to be pushing an Apple product (this was told to be by Alex in the Winston-Salem BestBuy store when I was there inquiring about the MacMini).



    Let me tell you about the Mac Mini episode. I walked up to a salesman who was standing at the Mac Mini display and described the kind of computer I wanted to buy. What I described was a Mac Mini. When I was done, he paused for a second, then walked me over an aisle or two to the eMachines products and told me what I needed was a T1842. I'll be making bets that this scenario will repeat itself in nearly every BB store in the country.





    They never have with computers, most of that was due to how bad the sales associates were about answering questions. Best Buy sells iPods like crazy though, the iPod pretty much sells itself, I'll say you'll get similar results with the iPhone.



    I do find it ironic though that Apple has gone ahead and said OK to Best Buy to sell iPhones, knowing that their relationship in the past has been pretty hit and miss. And what of other resellers that have done Apple well for years?
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jonessodarally View Post




    I read somewhere that apple was going to be providing their own employees for these "store within a store" locations. I hope it's true, because if not, there are going to be a lot of people being told how much apple's products suck by the employee force at best buy.

    )



    Well, Apple likely won't be providing the employees as much as they will offer special training to those Best Buy employees. That is how we do it at MicroCenter. I got to go out to Cupertino for Apple Sales training, but still employed by MicroCenter.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    jennygjennyg Posts: 14member
    I wonder how long it'll take to get the iPhone out to other, smaller Apple-authorized dealers? I find myself thinking of that every time I walk past The Mac Store on the way to work....
  • Reply 17 of 44
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,656member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wings View Post


    I don't hold much hope for Apple doing well at Best Buy. They never have in the past so what makes them think this will be any different? They never keep the Apple product area maintained, and as long as they have salesmen who will tell their customers that Apple will be dead within 5 years, they aren't likely to be pushing an Apple product (this was told to be by Alex in the Winston-Salem BestBuy store when I was there inquiring about the MacMini).



    Let me tell you about the Mac Mini episode. I walked up to a salesman who was standing at the Mac Mini display and described the kind of computer I wanted to buy. What I described was a Mac Mini. When I was done, he paused for a second, then walked me over an aisle or two to the eMachines products and told me what I needed was a T1842. I'll be making bets that this scenario will repeat itself in nearly every BB store in the country.



    Apple never had the brand identity it has now. That makes a big difference.



    Previously, when people would go into a store such as Best Buy, they would walk right past any Apple products.



    1. Because they were hardly aware of Apple's existence.



    2. Because even most people who had heard of Apple were not likely to be interested.



    3. Salespeople were not interested either because they had no familiarity with Apple, and had no reason to become so.



    All three reasons are not only no longer true, but the exact opposite is true.



    The fact that they are so quickly expanding the "experiment" is evidence that sales must be occurring.



    Don't be so discouraging.



    I'm not even sure I believe your story.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dorotea View Post


    I really don't get it. Why do so many people believe that there is a second genration iPhone coming out in less than 6 months after its initial introduction? New generations of iPods have come out at about a 1 year intervasl, not within 2 months of introduction of a model. Right now Apple has its plate full with iPhone refinements/fixes, Leopard, new iMacs, new version of iLife, iWork etc. Don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed.



    The 2Gen iPod was released 9 months after the 1Gen -- the 3Gen iPod, 9 months after the 2Gen. Mature products are updated less often than new ones. Personally, I don't think that we'll see a 2Gen iPhone by Christmas, but ask me if I'd be surprised if I was wrong...
  • Reply 19 of 44
    socokidsocokid Posts: 15member
    What I would be interested in knowing is what, if any, Mac software will be available at these stores. The software is what would bring me to these places...
  • Reply 20 of 44
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by thinkaboutit27 View Post


    Does this last sentence mean we can expect a the next generation of ipods coming soon?



    If they continue the pattern, there will be some update in the next couple months. There is no guarantee of a totally new generation though a design refresh is overdue if they hold to the pattern.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    It might give them a ton more stores, but it will DESTROY their image, and EVVERYTHING they have worked towards.



    NO WAL MART!



    Apple is in Walmart already with the iPod. Has that hurt them?
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