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Steven,
You make some interesting points:
1) some people who don't find the Apple products will buy the competitive item. Some will not. The marketing dilemma is figuring out if the income you gain on the incremental sales is larger than the income you lose by not getting some of the sales through your own channel, where margins are higher. Always a tough call. WalMart prospers because most vendors conclude it is worth the trade. We hope that this is true for Apple but we won't know for sure until we see the impact on volume. Remember Apple once only sold though AT&T and their own stores. Same decision had to be made to sell to Verizon and later to other carriers. My gut says it is a good decision but I am not a marketing expert.
2) you say Apple makes the same profit on any third party sale. I seriously doubt that this is true. WalMart is known for demanding and getting price concessions for access to their large customer base. Again, people with more knowledge than I have are paid large sums of money to figure out if it is worth the cost. I know when I worked for Mattel, the marketing groups spent a great deal of time on this issue. Doesn't mean you don't do it but you don't do it without analysis.
3) IMO a person does not have to be a bigot to come to a different conclusion on this issue than you have reached. I happen to agree with your conclusion that they should sell to WalMart but people of good will could come to,a different conclusion.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
Joe - long Apple but not WalMart
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