Holiday smartphone sales in the U.S. disappoint at Best Buy

Holiday smartphone sales in the U.S. disappoint at Best Buy
If there is one place that smartphone fans love to visit, it is Best Buy. The big box retailer is chock full of handsets covering multiple manufacturers and carriers. Unfortunately for Best Buy, there are more smartphones in the stores than company officials were counting on following what was supposed to be a robust holiday shopping season.

The retailer placed a huge order for handsets going into the 2015 holiday season based on 2014's sales during the same period. But same store sales of computers and mobile phones declined 7.2% in the U.S. over the recently completed holiday shopping season. That compares to a smaller 1.8% decline in U.S. same store sales of those products that took place during the 2014 holiday.

What makes this a disaster for the company is that computers and mobile phones account for 42% of corporate sales. Best Buy says that consumers turned to wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers during the season. The retailer's Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly blamed smartphone manufacturers for the decline. The executive said that fewer smartphone users are upgrading their phones due to a lack of innovation in the industry.

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source: NYPost

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43 Comments

1. bucky

Posts: 3776; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Most likely because all of the major players didnt really come out with anything innovative this year. The smartphone game needs a proper 3 player to shake things up a bit. The big guys are too comfortable.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Yes, please. Someone resurrect WebOS, but this time put it on compelling hardware. I want this so much.

18. bucky

Posts: 3776; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I would love to see WebOS on Samsung/Apple grade hardware. That OS was so buttery smooth. Its since been relegated to a neutered TV OS :(

20. engineer-1701d unregistered

1 million % agree i would love a webos phone again i just got back to playing with my touchpad rooted it and have it on android 6.0 still fast, there is a new os taken from webos called luna os that looks good.

28. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I need to do that. I still have Gingerbread on my Touchpad. Difficult?

21. engineer-1701d unregistered

o also backward compatable with android apps, done killer phone

33. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Yup. The moment I heard about the Pre 3 heading to Verizon I was excited... then HP decided to cancel the damn thing and give up on WebOS forever. WebOS is found in LG TVs but eh...

41. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

LONG LIVE WEBOS!

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Maybe the major players you liked. But I think you have to consider the release cycle of devices. Example, Apple's phones come out right at the quarter for the holiday season, but Samsung phones for that year with exception of the Note, typical come out 2 quarters earlier. So Samsung will suffer during holidays as people wait for the newer model which is only coming a quarter later. I agree, with the exception of Samsung; none of the major player released anything worth buying. But its a good thing Best Buy doesn't just depend on smartphone sales, though I am sure its a consistent source of income. Also consider, since carriers are dumping 2 year contracts, I don't know if Best Buy can put you on the carrier monthly plans. I assume they can, but I haven bought any phones from Best Buy since the iPhone 4S. Can someone confirm is best Buy can put you on the carriers installment plans?

2. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Or maybe many people felt their Smartphone i not absolute yet does they are not interested with changing it yet.

27. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Very good point, especially now that people are seeing the full retail price of the devices. Also, the soft economy climate doesn't help. I can foresee BB closing some stores. Have you seen their prices?

43. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

This. I'm still using my Lumia 1020 as my daily driver because the newer Lumias just aren't as compelling. I have a 1520 and some lesser models, but the 1020's my favorite, and the only phone I've used continuously for more than a year as far as I can remember.

3. Pld15

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 28, 2014

Or maybe it's because customers are no longer given 2 year option.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sure they are, they just call it a lease now.

42. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

The change from a 2 year subsidized phone model is what made me stop buying AT&T branded handsets. Now it's unlocked all the way. BLU, Huawei, OnePlus and Nexus are my purchasing options these days.

4. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I would have thought that the yearly plans in the states would have avoided this situation. I guess not that many people have that plan yet and are still stuck on 2 year contracts. With that said, the smartphone game is kind of boring now. Don't get me wrong, they're still very useful and a part of most people daily lives, it's just nothing new anymore. You buy a new phone, transfer your data and proceed to use it just like your last device. When you put that new case on it, it even looks exactly the same lol!

5. aldridhl

Posts: 76; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

who buys phones at bestbuy?

8. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

That's beside the point. They had a certain amount of customers in 2014. That number dropped in 2015. Simple as that!

13. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I bought my Note 4 last year at Best Buy for the trade in promo. I made sure not to do so this year when I bought my Note 5. Never buying a a phone from them again. Got erroneous information that negated my trade in offer, then got told tough s**t and lied to about what happened. Regardless, I'm sure it's a combination of factors, including a general slowdown/maturation of the market.

22. engineer-1701d unregistered

first time ever i renewed sprint at bestbuy for the gs6 only because bestbuy offered free wireless charging and also i get 20% off accessories thanks to my company working with them.

26. Geezy0315

Posts: 13; Member since: Oct 15, 2015

Alot of people

6. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

It could partly be that Best Buy employees are among the least knowledgeable tech employees in the world (just a step above BGR writers). Their customer service is pretty bad. I avoid BB like the plague. Others may also.

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I use to love Best Buy. But when I walk-in, it doesn't feel like that cool grown man's electronic toy store that it use to be. I use to love playing with the PC's and phones when I came into the store and I use to love shopping there back in the late 90's and early 2000. The last time I went to BB recently, it just didn't feel like the old Best Buy. I still have my rewards card. To bad I haven't needed it for quite some time.

7. st1114g

Posts: 11; Member since: May 06, 2009

To me they shot themselves in the foot.. Pushing Samsung and apple like crazy without much justification...and yet, all they needed was the GOOGLE NEXUS sign up...

9. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I can see your point about pushing the big two to the exclusion of others, but do you really think that pushing the Nexus would have helped?

10. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

They ordered too many iPhones.lol

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Probably Samsung's too

16. Mrmark

Posts: 383; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

And I just liked a lot of comments because all are good points . I walked into best buy a couple of times and noticed the Samsung and Apple push . I got a Apple watch for the wife but I am an Android person and I didn't see a need for anything because my Nexus 6 is still doing a fine job . There isn't anything really compelling cost wise and innovative to get me on a new device beside the fingerprint scanner . That's not enough for me at this time!

19. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Pretty convenient how the left out the figures for wearables, which I am sure increased immensely with the smart watches, fitness trackers and VR goggles saturating the market. It seems a lot of manufactures are busy focusing on expanding their portfolios, which a lot of that focus has been on smart watches this past year. I was in Best Buy right after the holidays and they were sold out of just about every smart watch they sale. So even though the sales of phones went down, wearables for sure went up, which I'm sure helped balance the scales.

23. johnny9000

Posts: 50; Member since: Sep 10, 2011

The decline is caused by 2 reasons, and will continue. 1) There is not a huge difference, from a typical consumer, between a iphone 6 to 6S or Note 4 to Note 5 to warrant an upgrade. Happens with every tech. It's like the PC boon and then crash, not a big enough upgrade every year to warrant spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to upgrade your desktop, most people just used their PC to web surf, write documents, and casually game, which you could easily do on a Intel core 2 duo (at the time) as the next step up. Then, it happened again with laptops, people realized they didn't need a new laptop every year, last year's model did everything they needed it to. Now, smartphones, anything the average user needs it for last year's model does it just fine compared to this year's one. 2) Now that most carriers have done away with 2 year agreements, every retail store or company owned store is essentially selling the phone for the same price, the full retail price spread over 2 years or so, so their isn't a compelling reason to buy a phone at Best Buy when you can get it at Target, Walmart or a company store for the same price. They may throw in a store gift card, but the bottom line of what you pay is the same. There won't be anymore "hot deals" of getting it for 0.99 cents at Best Buy but at Walmart it's 199.99, etc.

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