How did you spend your day after Thanksgiving? If you worked at any of Apple’s 358 retail locations, it was likely just a blur. Some rather outstanding statistics emerged from Black Friday sales of Apple gear, including the sale of 14.8 iPads every hour per store, and 89 every minute around the US – or 1.5 tablets each second. Stacked together, consumers bought almost a mile of iPads on the first day of holiday shopping, or a tower 900 feet taller than the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, iPad sales for Friday jumped 68 percent over the same time in 2010, when 8.8 of the Apple tablets sold each hour. Despite the sales falling below the 84 percent annual increase Munster predicted for the quarter, he expects overseas sales will fill the gap.
Macs were another big seller for Apple, with more than 10 laptops and desktop leaving stores each hour on average, the analyst and his team found during eight hours of watching customer traffic – that’s about 3,580 Macs per hour or 1 every second, nationwide. That’s up 23 percent compared to last year, falling within the 25 percent jump he’s predicted for the quarter, as well as the 19 percent uptick NPD announced for the first month of the period. If those Macs were all MacBook Airs, the stack sold on Black Friday alone would tower 4,800 feet high.
Also watching Black Friday behavior was Chris Whitmore, analyst with Deutsche Bank. His group watched 200 stores Friday, evenly split between Apple retail locations and spots like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and the three U.S. carriers. His findings: the iPhone 4S was red-hot, depleting 75 percent of Apple stores, and requiring restocking the next day.
Of the carriers, Sprint appeared to have handled the holiday demand the best, with half of AT&T stores and many Verizon locations out of the handset. But this is just the start. There is still Cyber Monday to survive.