While much of the blogosphere is pondering Apple's potential entry into the tablet PC market (iTablet anyone?), Wall Street types are focused on more immediate concerns--notably Apple's sales during the holiday season.
Enter some footwork from ThinkEquity Partners. Analyst Jonathan Hoopes dispatched volunteers to survey 28 different Apple retail stores on Black Friday. These folks observed consumers and their behavior in the Apple store. The takeaways:
--The survey, which covered 8 states, logged per-hour visitor traffic as few as 69 visitors in the early morning hours to more than 1,750 visitors in the early evening.
--Based on that foot traffic, Hoopes comes up with a conversion rate of 8 percent. Simply put, there were 8 purchases for every 100 visitors.
--"The overwhelming majority of purchases fit into a small bag," writes Hoopes. Hmm. iPods perhaps? Hoopes also noted that desktop, notebook and printer sales also appeared healthy.
Based on those observations, Hoopes figures Apple retail stores got 860,000 to 916,000 visitors on Black Friday producing sales of $36 million to $41 million. The estimates are based on a "Black Friday denominator" of 4.5 percent and a per-visitor spend of $40 to $45.