Apple: Our stores helped the iPad be successful; lesson for Microsoft Surface?

By the time Apple launched the first iPad in 2010, the company already had a large number of Apple retail store locations in place. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the success of the iPad was due directly to showing the tablet in Apple's own stores.

In an address during the Goldman Sachs investor conference today, TechCrunch reports that Cook said, "I don’t think we would have been nearly as successful with the iPad, as an example, if it weren’t for our stores." Cook believes that the stores showed consumers that the iPad was not a heavy laptop-like PC device.

Cook also said today that the average Apple store generates $50 million in revenue a year. Apple now has over 400 such stores and has plans to add 30 more, most outside the US. It also plans to close 20 older stores, but only to move them to new locations in order to make them bigger. Over 10 million people go to an Apple store each week.

Microsoft has slowly been adding more and more Microsoft Store locations, but so far all of them have been in North America. However, Microsoft seems to know that having people check out the Surface tablets in its stores is the best way to convince them to buy the tablet. While Surface RT and Surface Pro are sold in other retail stores and websites, Microsoft seems to want to follow Apple's lead and showcase the Surface in its own retail spaces.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via Apple

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vcfan said,
of course they get a lot of traffic. they're a toy store.

lots of kids and insecure teens

And the iToots. Never forget the iToots

you see, the Apple-Envy diseases not only infecting the Microsoft corp, but also infecting its fanboy.

These fanbois will try to urge Microsoft to transforming into Apple in every way possible,
simply because they envied Apple.

Torolol said,
you see, the Apple-Envy diseases not only infecting the Microsoft corp, but also infecting its fanboy.

These fanbois will try to urge Microsoft to transforming into Apple in every way possible,
simply because they envied Apple.

Or Microsoft are just getting ready to become the 'next' Apple. Of course that implies Apple isn't always going to be crazy popular and successful, which going by history is impossible... oh.

Wow John, you do like the flame, don't you ?
"lesson for Microsoft Surface?"

Ready to start a flame war ^ hahahaha

I was actually at my local mall yesterday for a lunch meeting at a restaurant connected to the mall, and decided to swing past the newly opened MS store to see the Surface Pro in action.
12 Noon, Monday Afternoon.
About 10 employees, myself, and two other guys in the store.
13 total people, most of which were employees.
Walked past the Apple Store in the same mall just 3 minutes later. Packed as always. At least 20 customers. At least.

I just do not think the general public at large views a Microsoft store as being "sexy" or "cool." I think they have a very long road ahead of them.

DirtyLarry said,
I was actually at my local mall yesterday for a lunch meeting at a restaurant connected to the mall, and decided to swing past the newly opened MS store to see the Surface Pro in action.
12 Noon, Monday Afternoon.
About 10 employees, myself, and two other guys in the store.
13 total people, most of which were employees.
Walked past the Apple Store in the same mall just 3 minutes later. Packed as always. At least 20 customers. At least.

I just do not think the general public at large views a Microsoft store as being "sexy" or "cool." I think they have a very long road ahead of them.

Every time i've visited the apple store it's jam packed... apple is lucky to have that sort of audience on a daily basis i don't think the surface alone will help Microsoft with this they need a wide range of attractive products.

It may also be that it's some peoples only chance to use Macs n stuff, microsoft is seen as 'the pc' .. and it's just like, well everyone has those, nothing to see here. If more people owned macs, i doubt they would bother wasting time hanging around an apple store.

There's a lot of psychology to selling. Most people's opinions on why something succeeds or fails will be wrong or incomplete because what we buy is in many ways a reflection of who we are, and we aren't very fond of knowing ourselves.

Even when we insist we know why we buy something, the reason is often something we worked out after-the-fact. A sort of apologism. It may even be what we *want* to have been our reason for preferring the product, when ultimately it isn't. We're weird like that. It's a little like how a personality test will show the kind of person you think you are, or wish you were, or hope to become, rather than the reality.

One thing that comes up pretty often is the rejection of the established and the embracing of the new--quality and utility aside. We like the new hotness, the rebel spirit, the thing that promises to free us from something we didn't even know we were trapped by. The thing that's futuristic but not forward-thinking, because once the future becomes the present we won't want to accept being satisfied with something the market gave us years ago.

Apple has somehow pulled off looking permanently cool, modern, sexy, and relevant in spite of myriad shortcomings and a history of corporate chaos. By shrugging off the turbulence with a nonchalant "I meant to do that" every time. Apple is under the microscope but responsible for nothing, in what looks more like an abusive relationship than almost anything else in consumer technology.

DirtyLarry said,
I was actually at my local mall yesterday for a lunch meeting at a restaurant connected to the mall, and decided to swing past the newly opened MS store to see the Surface Pro in action.
12 Noon, Monday Afternoon.
About 10 employees, myself, and two other guys in the store.
13 total people, most of which were employees.
Walked past the Apple Store in the same mall just 3 minutes later. Packed as always. At least 20 customers. At least.

I just do not think the general public at large views a Microsoft store as being "sexy" or "cool." I think they have a very long road ahead of them.

Larry, where was this store? Another new one in NJ? I HATE driving to Garden State Plaza for the small little MS kiosk that they have there.

At my local Microsoft Store, the MS Store is in a better location in the mall than the Apple Store. As such, it tends to get a pretty heavy dose of traffic, particularly from people playing the Kinect. However, while it gets a good amount of traffic, Apple definitely gets more.

I think this has a lot more to do with brand than anything else. The Microsoft Store is the Apple Store, but with more to do. It has Windows Phone, Xbox, Surface RT, Surface Pro, computers, accessories and the entire wall is one long series of connected TVs. On the other hand, the Apple Store has around as many computers (repeated models), iPads, iPhones, iPods and accessories.

it just boils down to not being cool, or sexy as you put it. Personally, I do find MacBook Pros very attractive, like the one that I own, but I similarly find the Surface models just as attractive.

Though, I will say, the Apple employees seem a bit more excited about what they're selling, and I think a lot of that comes down to fandom. I find that neither set of employees is particularly more knowledgeable than the other, but the management particularly at my MS Store seems to hire friends rather than good salespeople. As an example, the guy that sold me the MacBook Pro at the Apple Store walked me through ordering it on the Apple site, which I was more than capable of doing myself, and he did so in a borderline insulting way. The guy that sold me my Surface Pro had to go back to the manager for every single question that I asked, and he always came back with the negative.

To put the friend thing further into context, the Microsoft Store phone person suggested that my other friend was embellishing a story because he was given a 64 GB microSDXC card with his Surface Pro, for free. When I called in to ask if perhaps I missed out on something (I was not given any free cards), he went so far as to add that, "this is Microsoft; they don't exactly give away free stuff." I did not go into it with him, It is Microsoft, the company that gave away free Wedge Mice with every Surface Pro on launch day in the Vegas (according to the video where they introduced the commercial), and where they were constantly doing Smoked By WP challenges. They also said they would not open on launch day until 10 AM, and that I should show up early; fortunately I did show up early because at about 8:05 AM (a few minutes after the mall actually opens its doors I believe), they started letting us in. Surprisingly, short of offering free coffee and [nice] Windows 8 book, they did nothing for the launch event.

The more I go in, the less I like the store. That's not really Microsoft's fault per-se as it's a local issue, but they really need to take note of bad management.

DirtyLarry said,
Walked past the Apple Store in the same mall just 3 minutes later. Packed as always. At least 20 customers. At least.

I should expect! According to Apple's statistic above, at your average Apple store 325 people visit per hour.

10M per week
1.5M per day
3500 per store per day
325 per store per business hour

Yet they only generate $50M a year.... so 10M visit in a week, that's 520M per year. If they make $50M a year that means each customer spends on average 10 cents. Since the average apple product costs about $500, this probably indicates the primary function for the Apple store is not retail sales but to display the product and facilitate repairs and tech support.

ModernMech said,

I should expect! According to Apple's statistic above, at your average Apple store 325 people visit per hour.

10M per week
1.5M per day
3500 per store per day
325 per store per business hour

Yet they only generate $50M a year.... so 10M visit in a week, that's 520M per year. If they make $50M a year that means each customer spends on average 10 cents. Since the average apple product costs about $500, this probably indicates the primary function for the Apple store is not retail sales but to display the product and facilitate repairs and tech support.


These numbers don't add up. I'm reading the source and struggling with the math here:

370 million visitors last year
-> 7.1 million visitors per week
--> 17788 per week per store
---> 2541 per store per day
----> 240 per store per hour (74 hr week)

I didn't read the source. I based the calculations on the 10M per week figure cited above. I didn't notice the total yearly figure until just now. Interesting how they don't really line up.

Either way the conclusion is the same; the majority who visit the Apple store don't go there to purchase an Apple product. They go for another reason, whether it be tech support, to check email, or to look at the products.

Yup, I understood your math. I was baffled by the inconsistent message from Tim Cook. The rate was higher for the last quarter alone, but that was the holiday quarter, so of course metrics will be higher. Presenting holiday numbers as if they represent the 'average' weekly performance of an Apple store is misleading and dishonest.

Though it does seem typical of Apple PR. It seems standard practice in Cupertino to cut and slice numbers until you find the angle that looks best.

"Article stated that Tim Cook said"
"I don't think we would have been nearly as successful with the iPad, as an example, if it weren't for our stores."

No Tim... it wasn't the store... It was Steve...

Now getting a little serious. He is right. You can't sell a product to other person, unless he has it on his own hands and feel that it is of his own.

I'm sure it was a factor but Apple stores aren't that common in the UK - most sales occur through general electronics / computer retailers or online. This sounds more like a subtle dig at Microsoft.

According to Tim Cook, there should be no such thing as the iPad in New Zealand. His success equation is something like (number of apple stores) x (population)= tablet success

So for NZ we have 0 x 4.5 million = 0

Perfect Tim! here have a success cookie!

theyarecomingforyou said,
This sounds more like a subtle dig at Microsoft.

Actually Tim Cook didn't even mention the Surface or Microsoft. It's the author of this article that decided to use the actual Apple story to segue on to a Microsoft-related closing paragraph.

but Apple stores aren't that common in the UK

It's not like their presence in the US, but I reckon we have one in every decent-sized city.

Edited by Manish, Feb 12 2013, 10:18pm :

Manish said,
Actually Tim Cook didn't even mention the Surface or Microsoft. It's the author of this article that decided to use the actual Apple story to segue on to a Microsoft-related closing paragraph.

I didn't suggest they had, hence why I said it was a "subtle" dig. It was rumoured that the NYC Times Square store would be permanent but that obviously turned out not to be the case and given the recent release of the Surface Pro I don't think the timing of this statement was a coincidence.

theyarecomingforyou said,

given the recent release of the Surface Pro I don't think the timing of this statement was a coincidence.

That was part of a larger answer that Tim Cook gave when asked specifically about Apple's retail strategy at a Q&A session at a Goldman Sachs conference, so I don't really see how it could be linked to the timing of the Surface Pro release. I just don't think he's even remotely trying to talk about or make a snide remark about the competition and their sales tactics, on this occasion.

(If you want, you can read a greater portion here: http://www.macrumors.com/2013/...achs-technology-conference/)

um... I think this is one of the reasons they created the surface was to having something to display and sell in their store.