The holiday shopping season has officially kicked off with the Black Friday sale. This year Apple has chosen to differentiate its offer by “continent”: in Australia and in North America the company went with gift cards, whereas on the good old European continent the strategy was to offer discounted products. But what about supply and demand? Analysts seem to have the answer.
According to information obtained by AppleInsider, Chris Whitmore and Deutsche Bank surveyed more than 100 stores during the weekend to find some answers about demand and supply. As it turns out, the demand for Apple’s products was “robust”, and supply was solid across all Apple stores polled by the analyst in terms of iPad Air and iPhone 5s.
The Retina iPad mini supply, however, seems to be lower than demand. Apple has been struggling to meet demand since the launch of the upgraded smaller tablet, and despite earlier reports claiming that the company had bypassed production bottlenecks and ordered 4 million Retina iPad minis in November alone, the analyst found that the WiFi-only model was sold out in 13% (of the polled) stores, while the cellular model was sold out in about a fifth of Apple Stores.
From this perspective, the positive analyst forecast for Apple’s holiday sales are pretty obvious. In fact, almost all of the analysts cited by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt have raised their estimate for Apple’s stock price before the stores even opened their doors on Cyber Monday.
Gene Munster, who was busy counting customers and kept an eye on social media during the weekend as he always does during these key shopping periods, said that the iPad was the most mentioned product on #BlackFriday, and the iPhone for #CyberMonday on Twitter. And during the handful of hours he and his team spent at the Mall of America Apple Store, he noticed that traffic was up 9% compared to a year ago.
What was your Black Friday deal of choice? Any targets for Cyber Monday?