Shoppers More Interested in iPad Than Surface on Black Friday

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It appears that Black Friday shoppers were more eager to pick up an Apple gadget than Microsoft product, according to stats released today by Piper Jaffray.

Analysts from the firm staked out the Microsoft Store and Apple Store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, which are located directly across from each other. Piper Jaffray found that hourly traffic to the Microsoft Store was 47 percent less than traffic to the Apple Store during a two-hour period.

“On average, 3.5 items were purchased per hour at the Microsoft store (all but 2 purchases were XBox games) compared to 17.2 items at the Apple store,” analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to investors. “Also notable, was that there were no Microsoft Surfaces sold during those two hours.”

Apple and Microsoft both offered Black Friday deals. Apple took $101 off select Macs and $40-$60 off the fourth-gen iPad and iPad 2 depending on storage capacity, but not the iPad mini. Microsoft offered a Surface bundle deal, as well as savings on several Xbox bundles and Windows-based machines. All the deals were also available online throughout the day, with Microsoft extending some of the savings through today.

Traffic to the Apple Store was up 31 percent from last year, Piper Jaffray said, which was likely driven by people who wanted to get some hands-on time with the iPad mini. Despite the fact that there were no discounts on the smaller tablet, shoppers still appeared to be interested. Supplies of the 16GB version were “limited at best,” but the 32GB and 64GB versions were more plentiful.

“We believe the lack of supply of the 16GB versions had a measurable impact on Black Friday Mini sales,” Munster concluded.

Overall, Piper Jaffray counted 11 iPad sales per hour – the iPad mini and larger iPads , compared to 14.8 iPads per hour last year. The firm said many people probably picked up their tablet online, so the drop is not necessarily indicative of decreased demand.

“While we remain comfortable with our Dec-12 estimate of 5 million iPad Mini’s, the spotty supply tempers the upside potential,” the firm said.

By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag


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