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Apple trounces Microsoft in Black Friday retail traffic, purchases

A comparison of Apple and Microsoft retail stores on Black Friday found that nearly 5 times as many items were purchased per hour at the Apple Store.

Gene Munster and his team at Piper Jaffray conducted 8 hours of observations at Apple retail stores in Minneapolis last Friday, also known as the U.S. retail shopping holiday "Black Friday." They found that traffic was up 31 percent year over year, an improvement likely driven by shoppers wanting an opportunity to see new new iPad mini.

Their time spent at the Apple Store found that an average of 17.2 items were purchased per hour. In comparison, two hours spent outside a Microsoft Store found that 3.5 items were purchased per hour — and none of those were of the new Surface tablet. In fact, all but two of the purchases from the Microsoft store were games for its Xbox game console.

Munster also said that hourly traffic at the Microsoft Store was 47 percent less than traffic seen at Apple's retail store. Both locations are located across from each other at Mall of America in Minneapolis — one of the most famous malls in the country.

While Munster saw the sales and traffic at Apple's store as a positive, he also noted that the most popular version of the iPad mini – the 16-gigabyte model — was in limited supply. He also said that Mac sales appear to be affected by the new iPad, as well as a potential slowdown ahead of the launch of the newly redesigned iMac.

In all, Munster and his team counted sales of 11 iPads per hour at the Apple Store. That was down from 14.8 iPads per hour counted last year, but Munster isn't concerned, as many sales have simply moved online.

He believes that total iPad sales, including the full-size 9.7-inch model and the new 7.9-inch variety, will be up 62 percent year over year.