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Maybe Apple Really Is Planning for World Domination


The Apple faithful just love to talk about the company’s plans for world domination. But it’s just talk, isn’t it?

Oh sure, Apple advocates are just having fun, we're just being cheeky. But if what we're hearing is true, it’s not as far-fetched an idea as once thought.

Apple stores may be about to sprout up everywhere.

Well, not signature Apple stores – but rather Apple stores within a store. Apple analyst Gene Munster has his ear to the ground and he's hearing that Apple is looking to launch micro-stores inside some of the nations largest retailers including Target and Wal-Mart.

Depending on the magnitude of the initiative, micro-stores could expand Apple’s footprint significantly and in a relatively short period of time.  Munster crunched the numbers - take a look:

Retailer          # of U.S. Stores
Walmart         3,800
Target           1,700
Best Buy        1,400
Apple              250
Source: Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray

And expanding that footprint could expand Apple’s bottom line – a lot, according to Munster. “Wal-Mart alone can bring a whole new demographic to Apple,” he says.

“The Wal-Mart audience is largely rural – and rural is about 20% of the US population. I'm not saying you can't get Apple products in small towns, but typically the selection is limited."

A micro-store inside Wal-Mart would change that.

"We always talk about Apple’s growth potential outside the US – well, there’s still plenty of growth inside the US – in rural areas!”

And if you’re wondering why Apple needs micro-stores when they have a great Internet site, Munster says the experience is entirely different.

“I visited a micro-store and it’s just like an Apple store,” he says. “It’s got everything – it makes it a lot easier to standardize your life on Apple.”

More people 'standardizing their lives around Apple' - like we said, maybe Apple really is planning world domination.

* In case you're wondering, Munster has a $910 price target on Apple.

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Trader disclosure: On May 3, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Terranova is long VRTS; Terranova is long MCD; Terranova is long JPM; Terranova is long UPL; Terranova is long CHKM; Terranova is long HPQ; Terranova is long LQD; Finerman’s firm is long AAPL; Finerman’s firm is long BAC; Finerman’s firm is long WMT; Finerman’s firm is long TGT; Finerman’s firm is long HPQ; Finerman’s firm is long PLCM; Finerman is short (AAPL) calls; Finerman is long BAC; Finerman is long RIMM calls; Finerman is long HPQ; Finerman is long PLCM; Finerman has (FSLR) puts; Nations is long SPY; Nations is long BAC; Nations is long C; Baker is long NFLX; Baker is long JPM; Baker is long APPL

For Anthony Scaramucci:
Scaramucci is long AAPL
Scaramucci is long C
Scaramucci is long GS
Scaramucci is long NFLX
Scaramucci is long IBM
Scaramucci is long WMT;
SkyBridge Capital Is A Fund Of Funds Manager
Anthony Scaramucci is one of 8 national finance chairs for Mitt Romney campaign
Scaramucci a fundraiser for Mitt Romney and has contributed to the Romney campaign

For Josh Feinman
No disclosures

For Meyer Shields
I, Meyer Shields, certify that the views expressed in this research report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers; and I, Meyer Shields, certify that no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views contained in this research report.
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc.'s research analysts receive compensation that is based upon (among other factors) Stifel Nicolaus' overall investment banking revenues.

For Gene Munster
Piper Jaffray was making a market in the securities of Apple, Inc. at the time this research report was published. Piper Jaffray will buy and sell Apple, Inc.

For James Altucher
No disclosures with wires.