Apple trounced Microsoft at Mall of America on Black Friday

Categories: Technology
Geekahertz via Flickr
Apple's and Microsoft's stores face off across the hall at the Mall of America. (The Apple logo's pretty clear, but if you missed it, the Microsoft store is marked by those four boxes on the left).
Back in 2010, when Microsoft opened its fifth retail store directly across from Apple at the Mall of America, it generated heaps of buzz. But now, the average mallrat passing by the two tech giants might guess that iWorld is handily outpacing its competition.

On Black Friday, a consulting team from Piper Jaffray confirmed the impression.

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The team, led by Gene Munster, camped outside the Apple store for eight hours, as it's done for the past five years. This year, they also tallied shoppers across the hall, at Microsoft, for two hours.

The results? Foot traffic: 47 percent less at Microsoft than at Apple. Purchases: 3.5 per hour at Microsoft, and 17.2 per hour at Apple.

The content of those purchases is even more telling. All but two of the Microsoft buys were Xbox games, while Apple shoppers shelled out for 11 iPads per hour. No one bought Microsoft's new tablet, the Surface, in the two hours Piper Jaffray watched.

The news wasn't all positive for Apple, though. While traffic was up 31 percent over last year, sales were down. Munster speculates that shoppers wanted to look at the new iPad mini, but that its still-limited supply prevented purchases.

Here's how Apple's stacked up over the past five years:
Piper Jaffray via Fortune
At Apple in the MOA, Black Friday traffic's up but sales are down.
It's just one location of course, one small battle in the epic that is Apple v. Microsoft. But isn't the Mall of America a microcosm of the greater retail world? And, um, life?
afagen via Flickr
Since Microsoft stores are probably less familiar looking, here's the one at the MOA (though not on Black Friday).
Here's one more example to double the sample size. staged a similar Black Friday experiment in Lone Tree, Colorado at the Park Meadows Mall. The comparison is slightly skewed -- the Apple store there is smaller than Microsoft's, which makes it look more packed -- but still, Apple is bustling.

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