Addicted to Apple
Ever since Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) reinvented the portable music player with its first iPod on Oct. 23, 2001, the brand has come to represent everything cool and modern. The brand itself has consistently ranked at the top of any list that ranks such things. See, for a small sample, here, here, here, here, well, you get the picture.
To track America’s Apple obsession, we asked the budgeting site Mint.com to pore through its users’ data and rank cities by the average amount Mint users spend on each Apple transaction. The site came through in a big way, and while the data includes only Mint users and transactions at branded Apple stores or the online Apple store (excluding iTunes and some third-party sellers like Best Buy or Verizon), it offers a compelling month-by-month comparison of how much people spend at Apple in different parts of the country.
Read on as we rank the top 10. Some may surprise you, others probably won't.
Photo Credit: TerryJohnston
Behind the Numbers
Before we reveal the top Apple-obsessed cities, here are a few fun facts from the Mint.com data:
- Nationally, Mint users spent an average of $248 every time they shopped at Apple in 2010.
- April saw the highest average transaction nationally, with $309 per transaction, coinciding with that month’s launch of the first iPad.
- Released on June 24, 2010, the iPhone 4 generated no noticeable bump in the per-trasaction average at Apple stores, perhaps as most users made those purchases at AT&T stores.
- Similarly, the new line of iPod music players released in September 2010 generated no noticeable sales bump.
- December saw lower average transactions than at least half of the other months, suggesting that holiday spending at Apple stores in 2010 was limited to lower-price products.
Photo Credit: juanpol
10th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Boston
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $282
Leading off our list is a city known more for its beans than its Apples: Boston. On average, Bostonians spent $282 per transaction at the Apple store last year, with peak spending happening in August, when residents paid Apple an average of $365 every time they visited the store. The city’s monumental concentration of schools and universities likely accounts for the spike, as student offers like free iPods and printers with the purchase of a computer or laptop were in effect until the end of the month, just in time for the back-to-school crowd.
Photo Credit: ckelly
9th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Miami
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $282
Next in line is Miami, always a modern and flashy city. Residents there can also be called early adopters, as they spent an average of $349 per transaction in April, the month the game-changing iPad made its national debut. Spending in May came in at a close second, with a $342 average that helped push the city of palm trees to an average of $282 spent per Apple transaction that year. With the recent release of the iPad2, chances are the same spike in spending is happening right now in Miami.
Photo Credit: achimh
8th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Oakland, Calif.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $284
Another city whose residents are likely swarming stores for the new iPad these days is Oakland, San Francisco’s counterpart on the east side of the bay. Oakland residents, who spent an average of $284 per transaction at the Apple store in 2010, spent a maximum of $328 per transaction in April 2010, as they appeared to embrace the brand-new iPad with open arms.
Photo Credit: valanzola.t
7th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $285
Colorado Springs must seem like an odd city to come in as the seventh-most apple-obsessed city in the U.S., but residents of this mountain paradise about an hour south of Denver spent an average of $285 per transaction at Apple in 2010. The city boasts one of Colorado’s six branded Apple stores, though, and peak spending in the community reached an average of $398 per transaction in August. That month, Apple released a new series of iMac desktop computers with a brand new line of processors and graphics capabilities, which locals surely latched onto for editing their extreme sports videos.
Photo Credit: Greg Younger
6th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Pittsburgh
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $288
Pittsburgh, also with peak Apple spending last year coming in August ($354 per average transaction), saw its residents spend an average of $288 per transaction for the year. The city hosts three branded Apple stores, the most of any Pennsylvania city, which gives local students perhaps even more reason to take advantage of the company’s back-to-school deals.
Photo Credit: thetechbuzz
5th Most Apple-Obsessed City: Beaverton, Ore.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $288
Another curiously small city on the list, Beaverton, Ore., was the place with the fifth-highest Apple spending per transaction, rounding up to $288, and just edging out Pittsburgh. The Portland suburb boasts no Apple stores of its own, and its access to Portland’s one Apple store implies that locals tend to buy their MacBooks and iPods online, since they topped the average spending in Pittsburgh’s three Apple stores. Peak spending happened in August 2010, when Beavertonians spent an average of $388 per transaction.
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
4th Most Apple-Obsessed City: HoustonAverage Apple Transaction, 2010: $289The city of Houston, with three branded Apple stores (the most in the state), comes in at number four with an average of $289 spent per Apple transaction in 2010. The city is the only one on the list whose Apple obsession peaked in March, with an average of $362 spent per transaction that month. The timing doesn’t relate to any specific product release, which may mean simply that Texans prefer to evaluate their purchasing decisions and avoid the impulsiveness of early adopters elsewhere.Photo Credit: infrogmation http://www.flickr.com/photos/infrogmation/3049492684/
3rd Most Apple-Obsessed City: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $295
Rounding out our top three Apple-obsessed cities is Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., better known as a Spring Break haven than a tech destination. That said, people like to shop while on vacation, and the data seems to confirm that, as the city saw peak spending in May ($428 per transaction), the beginning of the summer vacation season. Apple seems to know that too, as the company has a store in Ft. Lauderdale.
Photo Credit: muir.ceardach
2nd Most Apple-Obsessed City: Jersey City, N.J.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $299
Runner-up in the list of America’s most Apple-obsessed cities is Jersey City, N.J., across the Hudson river from New York City proper. While the Big Apple’s five boroughs show up throughout the list, none come close to the $299 average spent per Apple transaction by Jersey City residents. They spent an average of $410 per transaction in August last year, the peak for 2010, despite not having a single Apple store within city limits. Surely New York City’s four branded stores offered plenty of opportunity for Jersey City locals to stock up on iPods, iPads and Mac computers.
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon
Most Apple-Obsessed City: San Jose / Fremont, Calif.
Average Apple Transaction, 2010: $302 (San Jose), $333 (Fremont)
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that San Jose, Calif. and its neighbor, Fremont, take the top spot for Apple purchases: The company’s headquarters are located in Cupertino, a suburb of the city on the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. The local Apple obsession, surely driven in part by Apple employees themselves, makes San Jose and Fremont the only two cities in the country to break the $300-per transaction average for 2010.
Fremont saw its peak Apple spending – and the absolute maximum for any city’s one-month average – in May 2010, with $471 spent per transaction the month after the iPad was introduced. San Jose, on the other hand, reached its peak in April, the month of the iPad launch, with a $378 average per transaction.
Photo Credit: nan palmero