Baker saw it differently.
"The goal of gift cards is to get people back into the store," Baker said. "That's even more important in consumer electronics. It's a challenge, for example, to get customers back into the store after they've bought a tablet. Once they've bought [an iPad], what are you going to sell them next?"
By prompting consumers to return to Apple's retail or online stores, Apple has a chance of selling another device, maybe an iPhone, perhaps a Mac, said Baker. "It's all about traffic and volume," he said.
In October, CEO Tim Cook was very upbeat about the fourth quarter, in hindsight perhaps hinting at what Apple planned for Black Friday and the following weeks. "I think it's going to be an iPad Christmas," Cook said during the most recent earnings call with Wall Street analysts.
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