Apple Won’t Upsell Customers to the iPhone X, Says Angela Ahrendts


Talking about her vision for the company’s retail outlets, Apple’s senior VP of retail Angela Ahrendts told CNBC in an interview that the company’s internal tagline for iPhone is “an iPhone for everyone,” which is why the Apple stores won’t try to upsell everybody to the high-end iPhone X. The Cupertino tech giant opened a new flagship store on Friday on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, its 497th in the world.


Ahrendts, who joined Apple in 2014 from fashion giant Burberry, said that she wants the Apple Stores to build a relationship with customers. “It’s no different from fashion — don’t you go back to someone who’s taken really good care of you, who you trust, to make you a better version of yourself?”, she said. 

She also acknowledged that Apple has told retail employees not to try to upsell customers to the most expensive iPhone model.

“Internally we said the tagline was ‘an iPhone for everyone,'” she said. “I prefer that we ask you who you’re buying it for. If they’re 6 or 7 years old, what do they need? If it’s someone who’s leaning into something else, what do they need? We do that with Mac, we do that with iPad, why wouldn’t we do that with [the] phone?”

She also dismissed the idea that automation or online shopping would eliminate the retail experience or retail jobs. “There is a purpose. People want the human connection, they want a place to pick up their products,” she said, pointing to efforts by competitors such as Amazon to build their own stores.

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the Apple stores are way more productive than most retailers, generating $5,079 in sales per square foot.


  • Dehop

    Hard to upsell to what you don’t (or won’t) have in quantity, at least for the first little while…

  • OliChabot

    Their margins must be the same for any iPhones they sell. So it’s better for Apple to sell a product the customer really needs instead of product to push another product into customers throat that they will not appreciate. Customer is happy, shareholders are happy.

  • FragilityG4

    Exactly. Those negative tactics are left to the telecoms????

  • Stefan

    Margins cannot be the same because of the left-over inventory. Even though I like your idea it only applies to newly produced old gen units. I bet that they are only a small fraction of total sales for a specific gen.

  • OliChabot

    You think they over produce and keep selling old inventory when a new iPhone is released?

  • Stefan


  • Olivier

    Doesn’t really make any sense since they usually change the storage capacity of models, for example changing the 16gb iPhone 6 to 32gb when the 6S is introduced. They would most likely produce and when a new iPhone enters the markets they renegociate prices, production capacities and features of olders models, i.e. Capacity and color options. They can also make a better quality control by fixing issues they may have encoutered at first. Pretty positive there is no 3 years-old iPhone 6 sitting on shelvesas we speak.