Way back in the year 2011, the big box gadget retailer Best Buy surprised us with the launch of dedicated in-store miniature Apple stores, or if you prefer fancier Apple display sections with dedicated sales staff. The move has worked well for both Best Buy and Apple, offering prospective Apple customers and current Mac and iOS users more than one thousand new spots to go check out and pick up the latest gear from Cupertino.
If you've been eyeing a new MacBook Air then run, don't walk, over to Best Buy and grab one for $200 off. It's part of a sale that's lasting only today and tomorrow, and includes some accessories and some incentives. Limited quantities, no rain checks.
If you don't care about a Lightning connector, an A6X processor, or a FaceTime HD camera, and you want a full-sized, full-on Retina display iPad, Best Buy has a deal for you. Today only, you can grab the last generation iPad 3 (introduced March, 2012) and not only save $50 off the original retail pricing, but get a $75 gift card thrown in for good measure.
If this deal is just what you've been waiting for, act fast.
If these pictures are accurate, and we're being flooded by so many tips this week it's getting harder and hared to parse, it seems like everyone and their biggest big box chain are getting ready for iPhone 5 tomorrow. These come by way of a Mobile Nations source, and, yes, the box clearly says iPhone 5, but who knows if that's an official name or just an in-store place-holder Best Buy is using?
Best Buy will be closing 50 of their big box stores in 2012, 8 previously announced and 42 more just made official. Most of them will be shut down by mid-May, a last few by July. The release talks about employees, and how they'll try to find them positions within the organization, but it doesn't speak clearly about a strategy moving forward.
A survey of iPhone shoppers from December last year through February, reveals that 13% had bought their iPhones from Best Buy, while 15% had purchased theirs directly from Apple. Of course, carriers brought in the lion's share of sales; AT&T sold to 32% of those surveyed, Verizon claimed 30%, and Sprint a less-than-impressive 7%. The survey, conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, also showed that online stores only accounted for 24% of sales, with regular brick-and-mortar establishments taking up the remaining 76%.
It looks like Best Buy is trying to offload some iPad 2 inventory on their internal employee auction website ahead of the iPad 3 launch, which is expected to be announced on March 7th with a high-resolution Retina display, quad-core processor and possible 4G LTE support.
AppleInsider reports that Apple will be bringing mini "store-within-a-store" setups to 25 different Target locations around the country.
The initial opening would be a small start, given that Target, the second-largest discount retail chain in the US, operates 1752 stores in the US. Apple has opened 359 of its own retail stores globally, 245 of which are in the US.
Apple is likely just testing the waters with Target, which should ultimately help expand their reach in the retail space. Apple already does this at the largest electronics retail outlet, Best Buy, with around 600 mini "Apple Shops" that have been met with great success.