How Will Apple Spend $51 Billion?

With the overwhelming success of the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Mac product lines, Apple has amassed a cash stockpile of $51 billion bucks. But what are they actually going to use this cash for?

Perhaps a free pair of Apple earphones with every iPad purchase?

Sadly, I think that’s more than we can hope for. Even when spending $800 on a device, free earphones just don’t make the cut.

So, forgoing earphones, what else could Apple spend the cash on. Well, they obviously have several options. The first being to issue dividends to their shareholders. However, this has already been dismissed for the moment in the quarterly earnings call. Secondly, they could invest the dosh in R & D and keep on churning out new products, but they seem to have been doing fine in that department so far and may not want to throw more cash at it needlessly.

Thirdly, and here’s where it gets interesting, they could invest or even take over another company. Plenty of thoughts have been banded about over the weekend. There are reports (via 9to5Mac) that Apple could be considering making a very large purchase such as FaceBook, Sony, Adobe or Disney. Many of these options don’t make sense however, and it is unlikely that Apple would make any rash purchases (although FaceBook is an interesting thought).

I suspect that Apple will in fact use the cash to purchase an electronics design and manufacturing company that is more in tune with their remit.  A company such as Intel or Toshiba.  Bringing component manufacturing in-house would give Apple a massive advantage in the arena where they are rapidly developing control.

Look for a smart investment, not a mindless takeover.

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