According to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, the Apple Store now holds an 11 percent share of the U.S. retail phone market and also accounts for roughly one quarter of all iPhone sales.
This is amazing. And highly disruptive to teleco. The profit from the cell phones for them comes from the two year plan people sign up for. They expend a lot of money with all those stores selling all those phones.
But for 11% of all cellphone sales (and over 25% of all iPhones) Apple is spending that money on employees and store space. These sales provide the big revenues for the carriers without the expenses.
So, in the scheme of things, every iPhone sold by Apple makes them more money than if they sell it themselves. So why not just let Apple sell them all?
Because Apple also allows people to choose the network and carrier. In their own store, there is no competition. So there is value in that.
But is seems like there might be a nice disruptive business plan somewhere between the unlocked model of T-mobile and the locked in versions of the major carriers. Let Apple take care of selling them and spend the money on good service, not of hundreds of stores.
Cook wants to get Apple store sales of the iPhone up to 50% of total market in the US. And then, it is a simple matter to route around the carriers totally. Well, maybe.