What Should Apple Do with All That Cash?

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

It’s fun to fantasize about what you would do with a million dollars. Fantasizing about what you’d do with $117 billion is likely to induce paralysis.

Luckily it’s not your problem. That honor belongs to Tim Cook, the man who became CEO of Apple after Steve Jobs’ death. What’s even more amazing, if he spent every dime of it today, he’d have another billion on his hands the next week. And the week after that. And the week after that.

Though some of those billions are earmarked for dividends to reward investors for their investment in the firm’s expensive stock (trading at $615.70 at the end of trading the first week in August), there’s plenty left over to spend on acquisitions. What should Cook buy?

Andrew Ross Sorkin, writing in DealBook, a financial news service of The New York Times, has a lot of ideas and they’re all brilliant. But the firms he’s targeted, including such surprises as Sprint and Research in Motion, are all priced in the billions – totaling approximately $97 billion.

We wonder, though, if a macro spending spree is really the way to go. How about micro? Think of the thousands of startups – 117,000 to be precise – that might thrive and prosper with a “mere” million dollar stake. Surely enough of them would break out – you just need one or two of Facebook dimensions – to reward their patron with a dazzling profit and extend Apple’s hegemony to an even more mind-bending figure.

Which brings us back to that fantasy about what we’d do with a million dollars.

Read Sorkin’s picks for one of Apple’s $1 billion plus investments: Suggestions for an Apple Shopping List

Richard Curtis

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