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Apple store vs Microsoft store on Black Friday

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt pointed out an interesting "survey" conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster this past Black Friday that compared sales at the Apple store in the Mall of America to sales of the Microsoft store directly across the hall. Given the wild popularity of Apple products, the following stats might not surprise many people:

  • The Microsoft store had 47 percent less foot-traffic than the Apple store.
  • Shoppers bought 17.2 items per hour at the Apple store versus 3.5 items per hour at the Microsoft store -- with all but two of the MS purchased being Xbox games.
  • Shoppers at the Apple store bought an average of 11 iPads per hour versus zero Surface tablets per hour at the Microsoft store.

By all accounts, these stats to seem to show a bad picture for Microsoft's holiday prospects -- and its Surface tablet. However, it's important to point out that, though this is an interesting anecdotal story, it's not very scientific for a few reasons. First, it only looked at one of each store in one mall in the country. Second, while Munster's crew spent eight hours counting heads and sales in the Apple store, they only spent two hours counting heads and sales in the Microsoft store – hardly a balanced survey.

Still, given the popularity of Apple's products, the greater number of products in its consumer product line, and the lackluster consumer response to the Surface, it's not a stretch to imagine that the results of this survey could be playing out at more Apple and Microsoft stores across the country.

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