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What's the Apple of Everyone's 'i' (Eye) this Holiday?

by Joe Leo, Columnist November 27, 2006
(Part 2 of, "Holiday Wish List: What's the Apple of Everyone's 'i' (Eye)?")

'JOY TO THE WALLET': A customer walks out of the Apple Store (Emeryville, CA) with his "baggage" in tow. Is it a new iPod or iMac, heavens, definitely no! A MacBook or MacBook Pro? Most probably so.

FEATURE: (11.27.06)-- The holiday shopping season is now upon us and on the day after Thanksgiving (also known as "Black Friday"), the official start of the holiday shopping season, we wanted to get the 411 on what shoppers were "i"-ing (eyeing) this year and give you a 101 on the subject at hand.

Were people looking for a new iMac for Christmas? Maybe yet another iPod to add to someone's own collection or put in the stocking of someone who doesn't yet have one? Or maybe a MacBook to replace a college student's old iBook as a neat, and early, graduation present?

With Apple joining in on the hype and offering one-day only discounts on some of their products, both in-store and online, we also wanted to find out how well the Mac-maker did that day in terms of sales, and whether this sales tactic really brings in the bucks.

As the saying goes, "easier said than done." (More on that in another story).

So what were people looking for? Customers we saw seemed to be looking for a little bit of everything, as one Apple employee corroborated in a side comment. In the two hours until closing time that we were there, we saw four customers go out the door with iPods, three with MacBooks, and two with iMacs.

In the short amount of time we were present, it seemed more iPods went out than anything else. We didn't see any Mac Pros, better left to professionals, and we didn't expect the average consumer to walk out with those. (Plus, they weren't discounted for this special one-day sale).

The other customers that were there were either window shopping, or if they did come out with something in an Apple bag, it wasn't one of the main products we were researching, and were either third-party items (such as speakers), or accessories and/or software from both Apple and non-Apple manufacturers.

Were people buying for themselves (gifts to self or non-holiday related) or for others? From the two people we were able to speak to, one bought for themselves, while the other purchased as presents for others. (We met four customers, but one said they didn't have time to talk, while the other was double parked outside with security watching them like an eagle).

However, we can infer that at this time of year, most people are buying for others since it's the holidays. Though who doesn't buy themselves a Christmas gift once in awhile, every so often?

Then there are those in the store who are just there for reasons not related to the Holidays, just in there to make a normal everyday purchase, or as previously mentioned, doing some window shopping. Or oddly enough, and better yet (not good for Apple), coming inside to stay warm from the cold!

How well did Apple do in terms of sales? We couldn't get a comment on how they did on sales, though we're sure those results will be posted by the business experts and analysts later this week. (That's beyond our resources here at PBCentral.com).

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