New data highlights Apple's reliance on Best Buy and Amazon in addition to US carriers

New data highlights Apple's reliance on Best Buy and Amazon in addition to US carriers
Just how "powerful" is the Apple Store? That's the main question CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Retail Partners) analysts set out to answer in a comprehensive new report, and after crunching the data, their conclusions might surprise you.

Like pretty much all other (popular) mobile devices in the US, the vast majority of iPhones are sold through carriers, distantly followed by their manufacturers' online and offline shops and then Best Buy and "other" channels.

While that ranking may not come as a shock for many folks who understand the true power of the US wireless industry lies in Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile's hands, the carriers' combined 67 percent slice of the iPhone sales pie is probably a lot larger than some of you expected.

What's perhaps even more surprising about CIRP's new research are the iPad and Mac sales numbers generated by the US Apple Store. While that is in fact the main retail channel for both product families, its share of sales across the nation is nowhere near as impressive as you may have thought.

We're talking just 29 percent for iPads and 39 percent for Macs, with Amazon holding a large 23 percent slice of the former pie and Best Buy responsible for 26 percent of the latter category.

Otherwise put, the US Apple Store doesn't currently hold a majority of sales for either iPads or Macs, with Amazon, Best Buy, mobile carriers, and "mass merchants" each playing their own crucial role in the regional success and financial prosperity of the Cupertino-based tech giant.

Could Apple cut out any of these "intermediaries" and ramp up its direct product sales to consumers without feeling a large impact to said sales figures? Probably not, which is why CIRP (via 9to5Mac) claims the company not only needs carriers to sell a large number of iPhones but also Best Buy to sell Macs and iPads, and yes, Amazon to sell iPads as well.

Of course, retailers (and carriers) need Apple's business just as much, which explains, for instance, why Amazon is keeping iPads around on its e-commerce platform to compete against its in-house Fire tablets.

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