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Marissa Mayer 'Flickrs' Apple, Apple Fleeces Wal-Mart?

That's why the stock is up 25% since she came aboard and is set to take out $20. This is the type of stuff angry investors should be using to go after that lousy, do-nothing Best Buy (BBY) board of directors. But I digress ...

Mayer said "Wow," but to some folks who emailed and Twittered me after she posted her pic, the crowd at the Apple Store was nothing short of disappointing. While most of the reports I received from around the country told of huge crowds and brisk sales, I had a few, including one from the Mall of America on Tuesday, that showed relatively sparse traffic for Apple.

Don't get carried away. Don't react like a Wall Street analyst. Almost midnight on a Tuesday night in New York City. During the middle of the day at a mall near Minneapolis. I expect more red shirts than paying customers.

Stop and think about another retailer in any space -- you name it -- as dominant as Apple. Most would lie, cheat and steal for the traffic Apple saw at one store over the weekend across all of their own properties for an entire week.

Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt provides solid evidence that retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) are pulling something just short of a bait-and-switch by selling a limited supply of iPhones 5s at deep discounts.

Do you really think Apple is taking a desperate hit by letting Wal-Mart and others do this? Absolutely not. It's probably Tim Cook being a "nice guy" at the same time as he fleeces retailers just as Apple does wireless carriers.

Worry about Wal-Mart, not Apple. Wal-Mart apparently needs Apple products -- and is willing to, quite possibly, lose money on them -- just to get people in the door in hopes they'll buy a cheap flat-screen television, coffee machine or thin cotton t-shirt.

That's where analysts should be jumping to conclusions, not at Apple, a company already in ownership of the holiday shopping season.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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