iPhone 13 at Visible
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)?")

continued... from: previous page

Finally, the other big question, does "Black Friday" bring in the bucks for Apple? We received an interesting analysis from a couple we spoke to that night, who we feel has a unique take--and are qualified to make that analysis (we just can't reveal why at this moment)--on the subject.

According to the couple who spoke to us, Apple doesn't need a Black Friday sale in order to gain money. They are always in the black, while major retailers are in the red-- hoping to get into the black by using the biggest sales gimmick of all, the Black Friday sale. The 5-hour early bird special. The "After Thanksgiving" 2-day sale.

Though a Black Friday sale--in Apple's case, a one-day only sale that probably brought more "Joy to the Wallet" for the Mac-maker than it did their customers--may entice people who have been putting off buying a Mac, to come on in due to the $101 discount available only for one day.

A penny saved is a penny earned, and any money you don't have to spend, especially on a big ticket item such as a new laptop or desktop means a lot. (Like we said in the first part of this article, $101 is like a free iPod. Get something for nothing, or get both for the price of one... we're not saying that's what people did, however).

On the other hand, a small discount on an iPod? A measly, minute, mini $31?? Okay. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on your tastes.

We assume educators and students probably didn't come in for the one-day only sale. They get an everyday discount no one else gets, other than employees of Apple (and government employees, and, maybe resellers?).

But that's the thing, as the couple that spoke to us said. Apple doesn't need a Black Friday in order to bring in the bucks. Sales are always brisk no matter what time of the year... holiday shopping season or not.

At 9:00p, when all the other shops in the shopping center, where our local Apple Store is located, were closed for the evening and done with their sales, the Mac store was still open and people strolling in and out. We counted 50 or so people inside the store. Subtract the employees, and that's about 40.

And it was at times sporadic. One minute, it's all quiet out on the Western front and hardly anyone in the store. Five minutes later, it's all abuzz again, and packed with a bunch of people.

We noticed another couple who had just returned from their shopping at another store and were preparing to leave, their car parked right in front of the Apple Store. The husband opened the car to unlock his wife's door from the driver's side and as his wife entered the car, he popped his head back out and said?

"Honey. Look. Maybe we can get an iPod?" motioning his head upwards to the bright white Apple logo plastered on the facade of the store. His wife said, "Not tonight."

Later in the evening, a mother and her daugher, along with her friend, were also finishing their shopping and heading toward the parking garage. The two girls stopped to admire the snowman on display wearing an iPod. The girls took out their cell phones and snapped a shot of the display.

The mom pointed at one of the iPods. "Look, there's a pink one!" (She was pointing to the red nano, the special edition, though it may have looked pink to her in the evening light). Her daughter said, "Yeah. I want that one!"

We can only imagine what was going through the heads of both. The daughter hoping to find it in her stocking or under the tree on the 25th of December. The mom thinking, "I think I've found what I'm going to get her this year" (and maybe wondering how she's going to pay for it, or maybe downgrade it to the shuffle and still wow her).

Ah, the iPod mystique. The magic of that little piece of technology. The little box that could.

What's the Apple of your "i" this holiday season? (Surely you've caught on by now).

Note: a companion piece to this two-part article, a feature story on this iPod "mystique" (with apologies to fellow columnist and colleague Charles W. Moore) will appear next month.

(With that and the caption to our photo, maybe we should be apologizing to Dr. Seuss as well!)