Best Buy is the biggest retailer for the iPhone other than Apple

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everyone pretty much knows that Apple has no trouble selling the iPhone, whether that be through online sales, or in retail stores. What people might not realize, though, is how much of that selling is done for Apple by best buy. a new study on recent iPhone sales says that among non-carrier retailers, best buy is second only to Apple itself in the number of iPhones it moves.

best buy first started selling the iPhone in 2008, with Apple’s blessing of course. Since then, it has expanded its distribution of the device to 1,100 stores, many of which are in areas that aren’t deemed worthy of Apple stores of their own. a new study by the Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) claims that best buy accounted for 13 percent of the iPhone’s sold in the U.S. last quarter, compared to Apple’s 15 percent (the dominant sellers were AT&T and Verizon Wireless, at 32 and 30 percent, respectively).

the data shows that third-party retailers (mostly best Buy) are nearly as important to the success of the iPhone as Apple’s own distribution channels are. CIRP says there are four times as many best buy stores as there are Apple stores in the U.S., so best buy can reach a much larger audience that Apple can’t get to directly.

while best Buy’s selling of the iPhone certainly benefits Apple, it also benefits the big box retailer, as it gets people in its stores that may buy more profitable items such as car chargers and cases for their new iPhones (it is widely understood that the iPhone is profitable for Apple, but is not very profitable for retail stores that sell it because of its high cost). At this point, it seems that Apple needs best buy almost as much as best buy needs to carry the iPhone. [via All things D]

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