Research Firm: Best Buy Trying Out Expanded Mac Sales

Research firm Current Analysis on Thursday sent a report to its clients noting that Best Buy retail stores in southern California have greatly expanded their Mac offerings, complete with large signs heralding the new products. The company previously sold the Mac mini, as well as the iPod and assorted accessories, but Current Analysis director of research Samir Bhavnani told The Mac Observer that this effort goes beyond that to include all of Appleis other computers, except for the Xserve. Software such as iLife and iWork are also for sale.

"This is huge for Apple, with back to school, which is a huge shopping season, coming up," he said. He explained that his firm has teams who scout retail stores for new trends, and last week they reported that Best Buy had started the trial run at its Los Angeles and San Diego locations. "It makes sense for them to expand their relationship with Apple," he added.

While Appleis share of the overall computer market continues to remain in the low-single digits -- a recent Gartner report said that it fell from 2.2% to 2% worldwide last quarter, AppleInsider reported on Thursday -- Mr. Bhavnani said that was to be expected as consumers wait for new Intel-based computers. "Itis not a big deal," he noted of the recent slip. "Another couple of quarters and weill see that change."

He said that his firmis research shows that the iPodis success is a major driver in new Mac sales. "Weive seen that thereis greater interest in Macs than there was a year ago," he commented.