Sprint's Share of iPhone Sales at Big Box Retailers Double That Seen at Apple Retail Stores

AllThingsD reports on an interesting survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) studying the balance of iPhone sales among the three major U.S. carriers at various points of sale such as Apple's retail stores, Best Buy, and warehouse clubs and mass market retailers.

The survey shows that AT&T remains the clear market leader for the iPhone in the United States, registering at 62% in aggregate and followed by Verizon at 26% and Sprint at just 12%. But the most interesting data pertains to the Sprint iPhone specifically, which represents just 9% of Apple retail store iPhone sales compared to 18-19% at other retailers.

cirp 2012 carrier retail share
The report suggests that legacy availability is the prime reason for the difference in popularity at the different sales outlets, with customers likely to return to their previous points of purchase when it comes time to buy new phones and remain loyal to their carriers. With Sprint being the newest entrant of the three when it comes to the iPhone, its customers tend to return to Best Buy and other long-time Sprint retailers to purchase an iPhone rather going to an Apple retail store.

In other words, if you bought an iPhone from Apple on AT&T or Verizon and you return to the store to buy another, you’re not likely to switch carriers. And since Apple Stores have sold only AT&T and Verizon iPhones for so long, Sprint’s seeing a bit less traction there than it is at retailers like Best Buy, where it has had a longer-term presence.

“Sprint is really suffering from being third to the dance,” CIRP partner Michael Levin told AllThingsD. “At the Apple Store and other carrier-agnostic retailers, there is still very little switching, and Sprint just doesn’t have enough existing customers walking through the door. … AT&T’s installed base of iPhone customers and Verizon’s huge, satisfied customer base are proving a barrier to Sprint growing its market share.”

Beyond the three major carriers, Apple has also been expanding its reach by bringing the iPhone to a number of smaller regional and super-regional carriers, and most recently began an expansion into the U.S. prepaid market with Cricket last week and Virgin Mobile USA later this week.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

jav6454 Avatar
122 months ago
So much hype and fanfare when Verizon got the iPhone. I remember those threads, "AT&Ts death".

Yet surprisingly AT&T is doing just fine and beating two carriers. Seems to show that the vocal ones were just a minority. If AT&T would be problem ridden as we were led to believe, there would be mass exodus. Something that has yet to be seen.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BMNB1tch Avatar
122 months ago
not surprising

there are more big box retailers in rural areas than apple stores
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kyjaotkb Avatar
122 months ago
Just proves nobody wants to be on Sprint's garbage network. Laughing at anyone who is on Sprint because they offer "unlimited data"

Stupid people

take the chill pill buddy... judging people as "stupid" on the basis of their carrier's reliability is... not very clever, is it ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan73 Avatar
122 months ago
It shouldn't matter which carrier is better. As long has the carrier you picked is working for you, thats what counts. :)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mattie Num Nums Avatar
122 months ago
Just upgraded my EVO4G to a 4S.

I am happy with Sprint.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
barkomatic Avatar
122 months ago
If Sprint gets its LTE network out the door and maintains true unlimited data, then I might be tempted to leave my faux AT&T unlimited data plan behind.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
whatsintheboxiphonexs

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Won't Ship With Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Wednesday September 12, 2018 12:58 pm PDT by
Since the headphone jack was removed from the iPhone with the launch of the iPhone 7, Apple has bundled iPhones with a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter for customers who continue to have 3.5mm headphones. With the launch of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, Apple is discontinuing this practice and will not include the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. On the...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....