There's No Way Apple Can Be This Desperate

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --

That was my reaction to a story I saw over at Business Insider that Wal-Mart (WMT) will knock the price of Apple's iPhone 5c to $27 (from $99) starting Friday on a two-year contract.

I just can't understand why Apple continues to not only wallow in the retail slums, but give outlets such as Wal-Mart so much pricing power. According to the report, Wal-Mart will slash prices and/or offer incentives on other Apple (AAPL) items as well.

Don't take this as a knock against Apple. It absolutely is not. This concern springs from my love of the company. And my desire to see it remain best in breed. It can't do that by merely looking the part of high-end consumer electronics purveyor. It must also play the part -- with across-the-board consistency.

So why hire the former CEO of Burberry?

As TheStreet's Antoine Gara points out, because Apple is a global luxury brand set to make an even bigger international push for the affluent. And there's no better person to lead that charge than Angela Ahrendts.

That strategy, however, is incongruent with what Apple does in the States. And, over the long run, losing the mystique and high-end, aspirational nature of the brand will hurt Apple.

Don't tell me Wal-Mart takes the hit on these discounts. I know they do. Don't tell me it doesn't directly hurt Apple's bottom line. I recognize this. But you can't think about so practically. You have to consider it from a more conceptual standpoint.

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