If Apple wants to focus on emerging markets, it should focus on the Brazilians who spends thousands in Manhattan boutiques and the Chinese who have run up the price of real estate in places such as Vancouver. Go after the growing high-end in China and India, not the fickle masses.
Practically speaking, this would not have much of an impact, if any, on Apple's top or bottom lines. We do not know how much Apple stuff gets sold at these chain stores because everybody involved is likely sworn to secrecy. Don't believe anybody who gives you an estimate. It's little more than a bad guess.But we're not speaking practically here. We're speaking strategically, theoretically, philosophically. Sure, Apple could do a "cheaper iPhone" made of freaking plastic for $99 and own that market. It could do the same with a giant selection of porn on Apple TV. Most people would react to the latter suggestion with horror. That would tarnish Apple's image! And doing a $99 low-quality piece of junk phone wouldn't? Getting out of these retail outlets, where the employees generally stink and the displays end up looking random -- and often like crap -- across stores, could do wonder for Apple's image at a time when Tim Cook needs to restore confidence on Wall Street. We're not going to lose the mystique Steve Jobs created . . . so don't worry! Apple should not be caught dead near Best Buy, Target, Walmart -- none of them. With the exception of Best Buy, they're all respectable companies -- doing well -- but they do not belong in the same train of thought as Apple. Stick to the occasional deal with high-end, luxury shops such as Bose and equally-as-cool innovators such as the people over at Nest. Two Apples exist: The one that nobody can touch right now no matter what it does ( largely because the competition stinks). And the one that could beat itself if it puts near-term concerns such as easy market share over social cachet and long-term dominance with higher-end, relatively reliable consumers. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.