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back to article Mall lurk man: Apple smashes Microsoft in Black Friday fondle wars

Anecdotal evidence suggests Apple may have beaten Microsoft in the Black Friday faceoff for consumers' dollars. A Wall St analyst performed an comparative report at the iconic mega-retail palace Mall of America, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He found that on on 23 November, shoppers at Apple’s store in the famous mall bought an …

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Anonymous Coward

How could one person monitor purchases in both stores?

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Devil

Obvious, innit. Why do you think Mother Nature gave us TWO eyes.

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Anonymous Coward

@shagbag

Obvious troll trolls obviously. Yawn.

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Surface Tension

If Microsoft really wanted the Surface to sell, it should have been priced at 200 quid max.

Fucking idiots :/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface Tension

Or... If MS wanted to kick the OEMs up the backside and get them to stop making generic crap, they would have made the surface and put it at a price point slightly higher than they think OEMs will make their tablets for. That way they don't get done for anti-competitive behavior and they do get the OEMs producing nicer hardware than their previous lamentable offerings.

I think that "Fucking Idiots" is grossly simplifying the matter, when there are many more elements than "do I want this specific product to sell" in the decision to price it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surface Tension

£200 would do well for their market presence but would definitely be a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Hardware costs alone ($284) are £177 at the current exchange rate... with 20% VAT that adds up to £213. They'd be £13 in the red in green-dollars/hard-costs for every Surface sold, not to mention all their other overhead (OS license, shipping, corp overhead, R&D recoup, marketing/advertising).

Furthermore, they would be essentially be telling their OEMs - who they intend to get $50+ per license from - to piss off when it comes to trying to compete.

Not trying to argue that it is/was the right decision... but given the situation I can understand why they priced it the way they did.

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Flame

Re:" slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

However, you have to understand what the game is here for the gold card members of the Anti-Microsoft-Choral-Howling-Society. Had they priced it significantly lower the aforementioned cognoscenti would have logged on howling "see, nya nya nya na, we told you so, they are bumfucking their OEMs". Given that they have not done that (as they indicated they would not) the members are in the delectable position of being able to have their cake and eat. By that I mean that they can log on and howl "it costs too much, they are fucking idiots". You see? They do not give a shit about honest contributions to a debate. If it is their favorite hate figure (in this case it happens to be Redmond but it could perfectly well be another company) they do not care about the size of the odoriferous piles they excrete on a thread.

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Re: Surface Tension

Um, I know we have regular sales tax here -- but VAT is "Value ADDED Tax". It is not a straight 20% of sales price.

It is 20% of the additional cost over the BOM... at least that's my understanding ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAT

"The value added to a product by or with a business is the sale price charged to its customer, minus the cost of materials and other taxable inputs. A VAT is like a sales tax in that ultimately only the end consumer is taxed. It differs from the sales tax in that, with the latter, the tax is collected and remitted to the government only once, at the point of purchase by the end consumer. With the VAT, collections, remittances to the government, and credits for taxes already paid occur each time a business in the supply chain purchases products."

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Facepalm

Re: slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

:facepalm:

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JDX
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Re: slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

Why would MS want to price it at the budget end? Android already have the crappy low-end of the market sewn up and Apple have proven that it's about margin not bulk sales.

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Re: slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

Just so they can get market share. I mean, why would the average punter get a Surface tablet over an iPad if there wasn't a big price difference? I completely despise Apple, but if I absolutely had to have a non-android tablet, I would get the iPad. Because of the apps. Unless Microsoft made me an offer (on a Surface tablet) that I couldn't refuse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

I'd have one over an iPad for a few reasons:

Office

Outlook sync

More than one app on screen at the same time

Long support of hardware/software (MS are going for 2017, Apple have already ceased to produce new OS versions for iPad 1)

Tougher hardware

The keyboard screen cover with the actual keys on it

USB slot

Memory card slot

Mini HDMI connector

And last but not least: I'd have one for the feeling that I'm not pretending to be something that I'm not by my choice of hardware.

Most of the same comments go for Android as well.

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Re: Surface Tension

@GoGlen

Its you who doesn't understand VAT. The quoted text is correct that each element in the supply chain pays it's component of VAT. Although I think in the EU the supply chain starts with the importer.

But whoever manufactured the materials (or imported them or the finished unit) would have to pay the VAT on that part. So in the end the VAT on the whole finished product is 20%. Plus for many/most products there can be import duties too (which are very complicated depending on the nature of the product) for goods from outside the EU.

So in the end the VAT/duty on the Surface should be at least 20% and possibly significantly more.

@Arctic Fox

Regarding comments about anti-Microsoft people contradicting themselves - are you sure there aren't different people some saying that Microsoft are evil for stuffing their OEMs and others saying yah-boo they will never sell anything at that price? To me MS seem properly stuck between rock and hard place. Even tactically (without regards to ethics) it isn't clear which is the better path competitive price and destroy the OEM business and have to make all Windows hardware themselves in 10 years time (slightly wild extrapolation) or to price it premium and have almost no market impact at all. It probably depends whether the OEMs come through with good products at more competitive prices which isn't clear to me yet although maybe MS have a better view.

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Re: slightly higher than they think OEMs" Indeed, that is precisely what they have done in fact.

> Android already have the crappy low-end of the market sewn up and Apple have proven that it's about margin not bulk sales.

Nope, both ends of the market have shown that you need to give people what they want. Some want "shiny," "feels nice in your hand", and "safe as IBM" feeling. Some want a particular text input mechanism, some want a status symbol.

Nobody really wants something they associate with their work pc, viruses (or anti-virus software) and having to call the IT helpdesk.

MS even got the branding wrong.

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@AC - Surface support through 2017

Long support of hardware/software (MS are going for 2017, Apple have already ceased to produce new OS versions for iPad 1)

Microsoft is saying they'll support the CURRENT version of Windows on Surface through 2017 with fixes/updates. The original iPad shipped with iOS 3.2, then supported iOS 4 and iOS 5, but does not support iOS 6, so two full iOS version updates.

Microsoft's guarantee of support through 2017 says NOTHING about future versions of Windows, so if Windows 9 is released in three years, don't assume the Surface you just bought will support it. Given how they obsoleted the WM6 devices not running WP7 and then the WP7 devices not running WP8, I would not be surprised in the least if Windows 9 is never supported on the original Surface.

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JDX
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@J. R. Hartley

Pricing it cheap gives the impression it's just another cheap tablet. Pricing it at a premium price point gives the impression it is a premium iPad competitor.

Although:

>> I completely despise Apple

Basically means you're not worth listening to, anyone who holds such an overzealous opinion of a hardware company (unless it's purely due to human rights issues or something) is an idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @AC - Surface support through 2017

@DougS - I'm someone who spent more than a grand on a G5 iMac. The fact that Apple don't produce new OS versions for or much (if any) new software for the iPad v1 is ringing such loud alarm bells with me that I can barely hear to type. Two OS versions sounds all very well, but when those OS versions are released annually, it's turns out to be bit rubbish. To put it another way: People who purchased an iPad just over a year ago, no longer have OS updates.

It staggers me that people think that Apple have good customer services.

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Am I supposed to give a damn?

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Anonymous Coward

You seem give enough of one to have read the article and then post a query about it.

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Megaphone

I would imagine...

Apple shops are destinations in themselves, whereas a Microsoft shop is somewhere you pop to kill 10 minutes whilst your girlfriend buys new shoes. Hence Xbox games are about the limit.

Also a Microsoft shop is finally somewhere to complain to a human being (allegedly) about all things they get wrong. Not somewhere to pose and stroke gadgets.

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Not a balanced survey.

To quote TUAW:

"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."

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@Pete Foster: Not a balanced survey? You can say that again.

One could also mention the fact that Apple have been well established in main-street retail for many a long year and have been sellers of a whole rang of hardware for a very long time. MS has barely started to open retail stores. The whole thesis is preposterous - Redmond's retail operation may very well turn out in the end to be a complete steaming turd, but this "survey" of the current situation is a bad joke.

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Re: @Pete Foster: Not a balanced survey? You can say that again.

Not saying its balanced, but the MS store is right across from the Apple Store. It been there a while now, almost as long as Apple Store. The throbs that typically shop the mall are your cliche iEverything teenagers. I'm not a mall type guy but it has a good BBQ joint, theater and comedy place. :)

Also, MOA is Bloomington,MN which if you want to stretch can be considered the greater MPLS area but Bloomington kinda stands on its own.

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Facepalm

There's just no polishing this turd

But everyone knows deep down microsoft will waste the equivalent of a few dozen schools and hospitals in marketing spend trying, just to see this story repeated right the way through 2013.

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11 ipads per hour?

17/18 sales per hour? Doesn't seem to good to me, especially on such a big shopping day. I know these stores are also a chance for people to come in and physically see the things and bask in the Apple lifestyle. But 11 ipads an hour!

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Re: 11 ipads per hour? Yes, must admit that I find that one a bit strange.

Given Apple's well established position on the "high street" I find that hard to believe. Given kind of sales Cupertino are used to I would have expected something like one every five minutes or whatever. It does however go to show that the whole basis of this article is dubious to say the least.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 11 ipads per hour? Yes, must admit that I find that one a bit strange.

Arctic fox, Did you miss the joke icon or is my sarcasm meter faulty?

"I would have expected one every 5 minutes or whatever" so instead of 11 per hour you'd be expecting 12?

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Happy

Re: 11 ipads per hour? Yes, must admit that I find that one a bit strange.

Would one every five and a half minutes sound ok? or did I simply miss the sarcasm tag?

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@jubtastic1 "did I simply miss the sarcasm tag?" No, you did not miss anything. I made a.......

........typo in as much as I intended to write "every five seconds" because I simply did not believe the figure given for the iPad's rate of sale. I.E. I would expect it to be much faster than the figure quoted. Sorry, my fail. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 11 ipads per hour?

11 iPads an hour isn't bad when you put it in revenue terms:

Average price say £500 allowing for a mix of minis and full size (not sure what the USD pricing is)

That's nearly £40,000 a day in revenue and given apples margins, probably £15,000 or so *a day* in profit - from a single retail outlet.

If you're selling big ticket items with a fat margin, volume isn't the number one worry.

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Anonymous Coward

Remember, you saw it here first

Strange, nobody did a thumbs up on the original comment... repeating here just one more (and last) time

And this, my friends....

.... is how and when historians will say that started the long fall of Microsoft.

And no, I don't mean that this will mean the Linux desktop or anything like that. Just saying that is the beginning of the end of Microsoft.

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Happy

Re: Remember, you saw it here first

Yup, long, slow, drawn out and very, very painful.

Chuckle.

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Meh

Truth.

I go to the Mall of America, in fact I was there last night. Most days the Apple store is packed, and the Microsoft store across the way that is twice as big has 1/6 the the customers if that. The Apple store had to run expedited sales tables of their fastest moving stuff just to keep up.

I went over to the Microsoft store to check it out, The Surface was being mostly ignored despite being in the largest shopping mall in the US on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Microsoft really needs to stop trying to be Apple and start being MICROSOFT. This just won't work.

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Re: Truth.

I thought they wanted to be Google a couple of years back?

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LOL @ This Article & The Author

How this article qualifies as news is beyond me, one person watched some people coming out of some stores, I guess could not actually tell other than by visual observation what they purchased and this can somehow be extrapolated out to national/international forecasts for sales of anything???

Your scraping the barrel here big time!!!

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Anonymous Coward

"Anecdotal evidence suggests Apple may have beaten Microsoft in the Black Friday faceoff... Munster and his team claimed 11 iPads sold per hour at the Apple store, down from 14.8 on Black Friday 2011. According to Munster, foot traffic was higher at the Apple store than a year ago, growing 31 per cent."

31% increase in footfall but with retail sales down ~26% on 2011. Put the positive spin on that! :)

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FAIL

I feel that it is sad to see MS go down when finally they got something right after stagnating for 30 years. W7 does its job, wish they'd go up from there make the OS more intelligent. Instead they slap on a buttugly UI with the only purpose to in the end lock everyone into MS Store. Again only thinking about the $$ and not the customers.

This guy says all that needs to be said: http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/14/microsoft-has-failed/

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JDX
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Pointless comparison

Why would ANYONE (even Ballmer) think they would be out-selling Apple with a brand new product?

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