While many Americans continue buying new iPhones at an Apple retail store or through apple.com, Best Buy is also an extremely popular alternative. In fact, according to a recent Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey (via Electronista), the retailer sells just shy the number of iPhones, as does Apple.

During December-February, Best Buy accounted for 13 percent of total iPhone sales. This compared to Apple, which represented 15 percent of sales (11 percent at retail and 4 percent online).

Says CIRP’s Josh Lowitz:

“Apple Stores and the Apple website are tremendously productive, but they are limited by their relatively small retail footprint. There are four times as many Best Buy stores and probably 20 times as many AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint stores, so aggressive distribution through all these channels is critical to Apple’s US strategy.”

Still, AT&T (32 percent) and Verizon Wireless (30 percent) remain the top two locations where customers buy their favorite smartphone.

Sprint, the nation’s No. 3 carrier accounts for 7 percent of iPhone sales.

What is most surprising about these numbers is just how poorly Walmart, the nation’s top retailer does with regards to iPhone sales. During the same time period, Walmart fell into the 3 percent “other” category, as did Radioshack.

In the last quarter, Apple sold 37.04 million iPhones. The sixth generation iPhone is expected to arrive sometime between June and October.

Where do you typically buy your new iPhones? Best Buy? Apple? Somewhere else and why?