Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone launches are characterized by long, excitable queues of buyers and this year’s release of the long awaited iPhone X was not different. Since the introduction of the blockbuster iPhone X in November, carrier stores and Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) have been buzzing with activity. Indeed, the iconic phone, which marks the ten anniversary since the first iPhone was launched, have been literally flying off the shelves.
However, various salespeople at Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Best Buy among other stores offer a rare glimpse of the intrigues of selling the iPhone X. While most confirm that the phone is a hot favorite, few can vouch for it, it appears. A case in point is one T-Mobile manager who was positively annoyed because his salesmen were persuading their customers to buy iPhone 8 Plus instead of the iPhone X. Salespeople working for Verizon and T-Mobile for instance, raised issues with the companies’ incentive policies.
This trend begs the question, are salespeople given incentives to sell one phone instead of another? Is it about commissions? Some salespeople say that they enjoy similar incentives for selling any model of phone.
According to one salesperson who has worked for four carriers, some stores have distinct incentives for some phone models. He says that at Verizon, salespeople get free phones when they meet a given quota and sell a certain number of phones. He adds that this varies from carrier to carrier. For instance, Sprint did not have such incentives, while AT&T had incentives for every S8 sold. For T-Mobile, salespeople used to get a new free phone after selling a specified number of phones of the same model.
Are iPhones on the list of incentivized devices? According to a salesperson based in a Northwest Best Buy, the list features slow performers or models whose sales have significantly dropped. i Phones are never on this list, he adds.
Why is the iPhone X not pushed by salespeople? One obvious reason, according to a number of salespeople, is the iPhone X’s availability. Because of a backlog in delivery, salespeople cannot simply push a model which is not available. The iPhone X is enjoying lots of pre-orders just like its predecessor, the iPhone 8. However, most buyers who had pre-ordered the iPhone 8 could not even think of the iPhone X simply because of its high price tag.
Going by the accounts of most salespeople, the iPhone X might not be the future of the smartphone as touted by Apple. First, the X is technically similar to the iPhone 8 Plus, save for a few iterations like the cameras, FaceID, and bezel-less screen.
A T-Mobile salesperson said that animojis and improved selfies are the main selling points for the iPhone X. “It isn’t as exciting,” he said.”If you are not attracted by these two features, you are better off with an iPhone 8.”
Another T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) salesman added that like other big brands, Apple lacks representatives in most stores who can provide buyers with a hands-on feel for their technology.
Do salespeople encourage buyers to switch from iOs to Android and vice-versa?
While some salespeople agree that it’s easy to switch operating systems, others say it’s extremely difficult. Most salespeople said that the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 are the best phones that one can buy. On encouraging buyers to switch OS, a Verizon salesperson said they discourage buyers from switching to avoid returned phones.
In conclusion, it’s hard to find a salesman who can out-rightly vouch for the iPhone X. However, the phone’s sales are expected to continue soaring considering that people don’t just buy phones for specs. They look at the visual appeal and the emotional value.