Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Who converts more PC users, Apple or its retail partners?

April 30, 2012: 2:58 PM ET

What Tim Cook didn't say in last week's earnings call

Source: CIRP

FORTUNE -- When it reports on Mac sales in its retail stores, Apple (AAPL) likes to make the point -- as Tim Cook did again last week -- that roughly half of the Macs sold in Apple Stores are sold to customers who never owned a Mac before.

In a report issued Monday entitled "What Tim Cook Didn't Say," Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a Chicago-based research firm, suggests that Cook told only half the story.

As the chart above indicates, Apple's retail partners do an even better job converting Microsoft (MSFT) Windows users to the Mac platform.

According to the CIRP's independent survey, 75% of the Macs sold at non-Apple stores last quarter went to customers whose prior computer was a PC. At the Apple Stores, only 48% were PC converts.

That makes sense. Customers who visit Apple Stores tend to be Apple users. That's not necessarily true of customers shopping at, say, a Best Buy (BBY) or Walmart (WMT).

As the report puts it: "The Apple Store is the ultimate manifestation of the Apple brand, but it is not the front door."

It's available here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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