Monday, July 20, 2009

Apple's Secret Weapon: Your Mom

Sales of cars and homes are foundering but Apple has found steady customers.

BURLINGAME, CALIF. -- Walk into the local Apple store at 10:35 on a Friday morning and you'll notice something different: normal people.

These are not the mutants you'll find trolling Fry's for a new motherboard, a liter of Mountain Dew and packets of beef jerky. These are not the middle-aged pot-bellied dudes you'll find eyeing the latest big screen television at Best Buy ( BBY -news - people ).

These are people like your mom. Among the 20 customers at the store Friday were several older women. One was getting a quick tutorial on how to download digital movies.

What's up with that? I asked my mother-in-law. "There's always someone there to answer your questions," she said of Apple ( AAPL- news - people )'s stores. "I like that."

A lot of people do. Little wonder analysts expect to see increasing sales--and fat margins--when Apple reports earnings for the quarter ending in June. The report is due out on Tuesday afternoon. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.16 a share, compared to net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.19, during the corresponding period a year ago. Sales are expected to rise to $8.2 billion from $7.5 billion.

Continue reading the full story at Forbes by Brian Caulfield

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