Apple stores reportedly prepping for major iPhone upgrade push in bid to increase sales

apple-store

On the same day new data appeared to show that sales at Apple’s retail stores are currently in decline, a 9to5Mac report claims the Cupertino company will this week launch a new drive at its brick-and-mortar sites to get customers to upgrade their old iPhones to one of the latest models.

According to the unnamed source, the tech giant will on Thursday begin contacting owners of older iPhone handsets by email, inviting them to visit their local Apple store to upgrade to the latest 5S or 5C models. It’s not clear if Apple will offer any incentives to upgrade, though without anything extra to tempt customers, it’s easy to imagine most will wait for the launch of the iPhone 6 – which could happen any time in the next six months – before switching handsets. 

Managers at Apple stores across the US will reportedly be briefed on the sales push on Tuesday, with other marketing initiatives expected to follow soon. The company’s new retail chief, Angela Ahrendts, began her first full week in the job on Monday and therefore will be overseeing this latest bid to boost sales.

This week’s push by Apple to get more people into its stores is thought to be linked to a strategy drawn up at a special meeting between the company’s top executives last summer. At the gathering, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly expressed his disappointment at the sales performance of the iPhone through the company’s stores, pointing out that only 20 percent of iPhone purchases are made via that channel.

Previous initiatives designed to boost handset sales at its retail sites have included back-to-school promotions offering iPhone buyers gift cards for the app store and a trade-in program for its phone, with the latter at the center of the latest drive to boost sales at its stores.

Sales decline

Data compiled by Needham analyst Charlie Wolf and released to investors Monday claims to show a March decline of 5 percent in year-on-year sales at Apple’s retail stores, with Wolf attributing the drop in part to the lack of new product releases. Tim Cook said in February the company has new products on the way, though of course there’s no clear indication as to when they’re likely to arrive.

In his note to investors, Wolf said the Apple stores’ sales performance is also “hostage to the company’s distribution strategies.”

He explained, “Mac sales in the stores were adversely impacted in 2009 when Apple broadened Mac distribution in the US, adding other chains, such as Best Buy, as resellers.”

He added that iPod sales in Apple’s stores nosedived when iPod demand caught up with supply and Apple responded by vastly increasing the number of outlets selling the product. “Same-store sales have also been affected by the roll-out of the iPhone to carrier stores around the globe,” the analyst said.

Mobile

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Computing

Costco members can cut up to $200 off MacBook and iMac price tags

Costco is discounting MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops by as much as $200 as part of a members-only sale. It also has deals on select MacBooks and iMacs, with optional Apple Care in most instances.
Smart Home

These activists are hacking housing problems in NYC using apps and data

There are 1.2 million people living in "deficient" housing in New York City and now these coders are making easy-to-use, intuitive apps designed to give tenants a fighting chance against unscrupulous landlords.
Mobile

Google Assistant will alert you if it thinks your flight will be delayed

Google Assistant will soon be able to alert you if your flight is delayed. Using historical flight status data and machine learning, the service can even predict a flight delay before it's been officially confirmed.
Mobile

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.
Deals

Here are 19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Mobile

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.