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Analysts differ on Apple Black Friday turnout

updated 10:40 am EST, Mon November 30, 2009

In-store traffic reports conflict

Apple's retail Black Friday traffic may have been up or down this year, depending on which analyst an investor chooses to believe. Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. claims that field checks show "strong" foot traffic, with high sales of Macs, iPods and iPhones. Though the Black Friday weekend accounts for 10 percent of holiday sales, Wu considers the traffic an important bellwether.

This view is contradicted by Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who says that a Piper team spent nine hours at three Apple Stores and counted only 8.3 Macs being sold per hour, as compared to 13 an hour in 2008. The analyst considers it "too early" to use the data as an indicator of how December quarter Mac sales will go, and so is relying on an earlier prediction of 2.8 million units. By contrast, Wu suggests that a Kaufman estimate of 2.9 million Macs is liable to be conservative.

Wu also comments that iMacs and the plastic MacBook are absent or in limited supply at Amazon and Best Buy, and that both vendors along with Target and Walmart have been unusually aggressive with Black Friday sales, making cuts as deep as 20 percent instead of a normal 11 to 13 percent. In some cases, gift cards up to $50 for iPods and $150 for Macs have been available. Apple kept to its usual minor discounts this year, no higher than 10 percent, and completely omitting the iPhone.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big deal....

    Black Friday has turned more and more into a farce that most "buyers" avoid, due to the crowds, the pushing, the stupidity, etc. They'll just go in on Saturday, Monday, or, even more likely, just buy something on-line cheaper than you can get at the store.

    And, seriously, Black Friday is all about the cheapskates getting up at 2am (or even thursday night), standing in line for hours on end, so they can save $200 on some piece of c*** TV or something at WalMart. Not exactly Apple's main market segment.

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Agree, but....

    You have to admit it is kinda fun to go buy something at a 9am-8pm or such store much earlier than the usual opening time.

    One time i went out at 2 am to get something from a mall, we then stayed awake and went from early open to early open, be it a big box or smaller stand alone or independent retailer. Was quite fun for me, because other people did the purchasing, i simply did the "how to get it home" logistics & navigation, basically everything but spending my own money & driving.

    - A

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