Whilst looking at the Apple Online UK Store today I noticed that there is no clear indication of a sales telephone number on the home page or store home. The number is not visible until you actually click into a product page.
Hidden telephone number at the bottom right hand side of the page:
Visible telephone number on the top right hand corner of the product page, with a live chat option to:
My thoughts on the thinking behind this are:
1. It is a clever website design feature that means that an unsure buyer can call for more help, and then the sale can be closed over the phone.
2. In addition to point number 1 above, the number is also a free phone (0800) number, so from the potential buyers point of view, they have nothing to lose to make a call as it is free. (Yes, I know that 0800 numbers are not free on mobiles, but I am not sure what the Apple mobile site, and I image that most people viewing the Apple Store on a desk top will have access to a land line).
3. As the number is an 0800 number, Apple absorbs the cost of the call, so only putting it on a product page minimises time wasters and is only seen by people ready to buy.