Foursquare Predicts iPhone Sales Via Traffic Tracking

If you are among the masses of folks thinking about upgrading to an iPhone 6, your local phone dealer may already know you’re coming. With the recent release of the Apple 6S and 6S Plus iPhones, store owners need to be prepared for the rush of customers ready to say goodbye to their obsolete devices and take home the latest technology. An interesting comparison of Foursquare’s foot traffic data to Apple’s up-to-the-minute sales figures shows indisputably how closely the two sets of data are related.

According to Foursquare’s COO Jeff Glueck, Apple’s sales performance becomes more predictable because of the increased foot traffic noted around Apple stores in major areas of the United States. Foursquare currently predicts that the number of visitors to an Apple store on and just after the iPhone 6S launch day will increase 400%. Based on past data, this increase in customers will translate to a new record, with iPhone sales nearing the 15 million mark.

Foursquare boldly asserts that it possesses the best, most reliable foot traffic data in the social tracking industry, bypassing Mologogo, Twitter, even Google’s many tracking platforms. While Glueck admits foot traffic is only one factor that should be used to back sales predictions, he states that the company’s data has proven effective in the past and is gathered without accessing other factors, including pre-launch orders from any source.

The Margin of Error

Image credit: VentureBeat

Image credit: VentureBeat

One factor that can tinge the data released by Foursquare in terms of sales predictions is the fact that online pre-orders are not included. While these are relatively easy to predict from Apple’s past launch-day figures and current interest, the company is notoriously secretive about its inside information. For accurate sales predictions, the number of resellers pre-ordering, including those from overseas, must also be considered.

Regardless of these factors, Foursquare still maintains a treasure trove of data that accurately logs and predicts retail storefront movement among its users. The company’s data will undoubtedly help prepare stores in many aspects, from having enough staff to having enough stock to handle this and future launches from Apple and other major tech players in the market.

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