40 Billion Reasons to Think Apple Is Doing OK

Apple held their annual shareholder’s meeting yesterday, and as usual, some interesting things came out of the call. First, Apple’s opening up 25 stores in China soon. Then there was no talk of Verizon and the iPhone, but that’s no real big shocker. For me though, was a repeat of information that I already knew, I just didn’t have a number to quantify.

Currently, Apple has $40 billion in cash. I like to picture Steve having a Scrooge McDuck-esque vault somewhere that he goes swimming in while wearing that black mock turtleneck.

Now, that’s a ton of money – literally, and figuratively. What do they plan on doing with it? According to TheStreet.com, they’ve got a plan:

The consumer tech giant was somewhat more forthcoming when questioned about its massive $40 billion cash haul.

Jobs said that the money provides enables Apple to “think big” in terms of its product development, says Reuters, suggesting that the company has no immediate plans to offer a share buyback or pay a dividend.

“We want to take risks, technical risks,” he said, according to CNBC.”We want to know the ground is still beneath us when we jump.”

Take a moment and soak in that statement. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Recently it’s been speculated that it cost Apple around $1 billion to produce that A4 chip that’s in the iPad. I spoke a few weeks back about that processor, and the larger implications it had for Apple in general. Now I’m not saying that Apple’s going to take that $40 billion and take on Intel, but if they wanted to, they could. In fact, they could do a lot of mind-blowing things with that cash, and frankly, I think that’s exactly what they’re going to do.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The next few years are going to be very interesting for Apple. I think we could be seeing products out of Cupertino the likes of which we’ve never considered before. HD TVs with AppleTV built in? New monitor technologies for MacBooks? Some other new revolutionary device we’ve never considered? Frankly, they’re all on the table now. And with the amount of cash they have, Apple could have a Waterworld-size flop on their hands and not even stress about it.

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