Apple Takes 4th Best Vendor-Retailer Trophy

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For the fourth consecutive year Apple will take back to Cupertino the TWICE Best Vendor Retailer Award.

One reason for this streak of excellence could be found recently outside its West 14th Street store in New York City. On an average Tuesday morning a dozen customers were lined up, waiting for the doors to open at 9 a.m.

There was no special event planned -- the iPhone 5 was not yet going on sale, and it was just another day in New York. But this is the level of loyalty the Apple Store has built through its excellent customer service and in-demand products.

Once again, Apple did not rest easy, but charged ahead with new must-have products over the previous 12 months, which have seen a steady stream of Apple products hitting store shelves and helping drive people into its storefronts.

The iPad 2 went on sale in mid-March and quickly sold out from not only Apple’s stores, but most other supporting retailers. The initial estimated reports had up to 500,000 iPad 2s being sold on the first day of availability.

While many tablet PC competitors have hit the market during the year, Apple has retained control of almost 73 percent of the market, according to the research firm Gartner. This figure is not expected to diminish greatly over the next four years.

Approximately 46.7 million iPads will ship this year, about four times the number using Android, Gartner reported.

Sales of this magnitude helped Apple Stores retain their No. 3 spot on TWICE’s 2011 Top 100 CE Retailers Report. Apple boosted sales by 26 percent to $8.7 billion, and to date there are 245 stores in the United States and 358 worldwide.

The popularity of the iPad, iPhone and iPod has helped drive Mac computer sales to new heights. Gartner credited Apple with controlling 10.7 percent of the market at the end of the second quarter of 2011 for third place in the U.S market, behind Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

Apple received a blow when its longtime retail guru Ron Johnson departed for a top post at JCPenney. However, the biggest Apple news of the year greatly overshadowed that or any product introduction or new store opening. On Aug. 24 Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs resigned.

Jobs, who had a history of health issues that forced him to step away from the day-to-day operations several times over the years, stated in a letter to Apple’s board of directors and the Apple community at large that he could no longer meet his duties as CEO.

This move initially caused a firestorm on the web as pundits and bloggers speculated the impact of Jobs leaving Apple. The company’s reins are now in the hands of Tim Cook, who had taken over during Jobs’ previous leaves of absence.

Jobs and Johnson left their posts as Apple temporarily passed Exxon as the world’s most valuable company. On Aug. 10 Apple hit $337.1 billion in market capitalization.


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