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Where did you buy your last cell phone? If you answered Apple or Best Buy, you're certainly not alone, as a new survey revealed the two retail giants increasingly make up a big percentage of carrier sales.
AllThingsD reported Monday that a new survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) reveals that Americans tend to be steering their cell phone purchases more toward retailers other than the carriers themselves.
Apple retail stores account for roughly 11 percent of cell phones sold at retail, a number that's entirely for the iPhone and one Apple CEO Tim Cook has been looking to increase. Meanwhile, retailer Best Buy appears to be increasingly important to carriers despite its own fiscal troubles, with 13 percent of retail sales.
Best Buy, of course, sells mobile phones from Apple as well as rivals such as Samsung, HTC, Nokia, BlackBerry and others — an edge that appears to be paying off for the big-box chain as its showroom increases the number of square feet used to display them all.
“So, all major manufacturers and operating system producers, and even the major carriers, need Best Buy,” remarked CIRP's Michael Levin.
By comparison, mass merchants such as Target, Walmart and Costco collectively make up another 12 percent of retail sales for mobile phones, with Amazon and eBay adding another seven and two percent, respectively.
The single biggest chunk of retail sales comes straight from Verizon Wireless and their own branded stores, who make up 57 percent; the other three major U.S. carriers sell about half of their sales from their own retail stores.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter