Where would you go to get the new iPhone 14 if you were in the market for one? The answer may be different depending on where you live, but in the United States, it’s becoming less likely to be at one of Apple’s own retail locations.
Only about 24% of iPhone buyers in the US are doing their shopping directly with Apple, according to a report from CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC).
Comparatively, 67% of iPhone buyers are going through carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The majority of sales are made in the United States, which may be surprising to some but not to others given the long lines that used to form outside Apple stores on the day an iPhone was released.
The remaining nine percent consists of stores like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, which may be the most surprising part of the data.
To be sure, picking a carrier is a good idea for many reasons. One reason is that carrier stores are much more accessible than Apple Stores because there are so many more of them.
Many people now prefer to shop online, but regardless of where you choose to do your iPhone shopping, you’ll likely find the best deals offered by carriers. This is because you can frequently get a brand-new iPhone through a carrier for ‘free,’ as part of your monthly plan, making the phone seem much more reasonably priced.
Even if the total cost is higher, at least the payments are more manageable, and many service providers are noticeably less expensive or include bonuses to sweeten the deal. This company’s success in selling iPhones comes as no great surprise.
The differences and similarities between Apple and carriers
Some carrier promotions are better than others, but Verizon’s Cyber Monday offer of a free Apple Watch SE 2, iPad 10.2 (2021), and pair of Beats Fit Pro with the purchase of an iPhone 14 Pro on an unlimited data plan is a shining example.
In addition, customers can receive a $200 gift card for switching carriers and up to $1,000 in store credit for trading in an old phone.
You would have to pay full price for an iPhone 14 Pro from Apple right now or even during the Black Friday sale period.
However, there are exceptions: you can opt to pay over time, you can trade in your old device, and Apple occasionally runs promotions in conjunction with carrier activation (though these are rarely better than what you’d find by going straight to the carrier).
A $50 gift card was the best you could hope for if you bought an older iPhone during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and the company didn’t offer any deals of its own on the iPhone 14 line.
This is typical Apple behaviour. It’s surprising how small the market share of other retailers like Walmart and Best Buy is, given that they sometimes offer better discounts than the best carrier deals.
Therefore, if you’re in the market for an iPhone, you should look elsewhere, as there are often much better deals elsewhere, including in countries outside the United States.
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