While Apple stores are immense in popularity, their scope doesn’t reach quite as wide as some other retail outlets. A few years ago, Apple partnered up with Best Buy in order to shift more iPhones. Best Buy host miniature Apple stores wtihin their own retail space, typically in locations Apple feel aren’t financially justifiable. That partnership is definitely paying off, as Best Buy sells almost as many iPhones as Apple.
According to data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners obtained over a three month period, customers predominantly bought iPhones in retail stores, totalling 76%, with online sales coming in at 24%. The breakdown of the stores shows the interesting part, though. Apple directly sold 15% of all iPhones in the United States, while Best Buy almost matched them with 13%.
Meanwhile, AT&T & Verizon takes the lion's share, with 32% and 30% respectively. The other 3% comes from smaller retailers like Radio Shack or Walmart, as well as people who received the phone as a gift and don’t know where it was purchased.
Josh Lowitz, part of CIRP, said that “aggressive distribution” through all the various retail channels “is critical to Apple’s U.S. strategy.” Best Buy has approximately four times as many stores as Apple, and AT&T and Verizon’s outnumber both, blanketing the whole country.