15 things Apple could buy with its $137B cash reserve

15 things Apple could buy with its $137B cash reserve

Summary: Apple has $137.1 billion in cash, but more than two-thirds of it remains off-shore and outside of the U.S. taxman's reach. What could Apple spend all that cash on? We've got some suggestions.

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  • Buy 80 Endeavour space shuttles

    NASA spent around $1.7 billion on Endeavour, the space shuttle orbiter built to replace Challenger. With $137.1 billion, Apple could just stretch it enough to buy 80 space shuttles.

    But, of course, this doesn't include the costs of fuel, astronaut labor costs, and launching the thing into orbit. Realistically, Apple could probably buy around 50 at today's prices and still have plenty left over to run a half-decent space program of its own.

  • Plug less than 1 percent of the U.S.'s federal debt

    The U.S. federal debt is a very contentious topic. Currently at $16.07 trillion, it's thought to be one of—if not the largest amount of money in the world. And, even with that, nobody has it. That amount of money doesn't actually exist, only in the vague subconscious minds of bankers.

    Apple could help its good friend out—the U.S. government—by plugging everything it has into the U.S. federal debt. $137.1 billion into $16.07 trillion amounts to 0.8 percent. That's it. It's barely a drop in the ocean, but it's a start. 

  • Take out its cash in dollar bills and stack it into space

    Apple could reach space without a shuttle or a rocket—it just needs a very, very large ATM.

    A one dollar bill has the dimensions of about 2.61 inches wide and 6.14 inches long, but only 0.0043 inches thick. Stack up $137.1 billion in dollar bills and that's 589.53 million inches, or 14,974 kilometers. (For imperial fans, that's 9,304.4 miles.)

    The distance between Earth and the Moon varies from 221,000 miles to 252,000 miles—so the dollar bill pile won't quite reach the Moon, but it will pass the International Space Station's orbiting height of about 230 miles (370km) about forty-times over. 

    It's a moot point anyway; there aren't (and never has been, nor ever will be) 137.1 billion single dollar bills in circulation.

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Topic: Apple

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71 comments
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  • Buy Microsoft

    Two companies, both struggling to adapt their legacy technologies to the post-PC era: they're made for each other, don't you think?
    ldo17
    • Re: Buy Microsoft

      You know it makes sense. And they could unify their current fragmented efforts to fight Android.

      Who knows, they might even stand a chance.
      ldo17
    • Microsoft is a poor investment...

      Microsoft have alienated and abandoned the people who made Microsoft the desktop standard over decades - power users. This is the beginning of the end for them. Post PC, Microsoft is going to swap market share with Apple and Android. As their lucrative OEM contracts expire, and desktop PC sales continue to decline, companies will examine their alternatives more closely. The masses of people who only use a tablet now don't care about running Windows applications. They'll just buy the tablet with the biggest ecosystem of hardware and software. They'll go for long battery life and storage. They won't care about desktop compatibility. Microsoft decided to make the desktop PC usable by simpletons right at the time when average users are switching away from desktop-centric usage scenarios. Shoehorning Windows Simpleton onto tablets just isn't the same as an OS designed for tablets from the start. It's fast, lean OS versus extremely FAT sluggish OS. Storage is a premium in tablets, so FAT OS = crippling OS.

      IMHO, Apple should use some of their cash reserves to design and manufacture a consumer friendly 3-D printer and software. They could completely own that fast-growing market in a year or two if they put their best people on it.
      BillDem
  • Buy Microsoft

    Two companies, both struggling to adapt their legacy technologies to the post-PC era: they're made for each other, don't you think?
    ldo17
    • Inwould say that Apple is thriving in the so called Pos PC Era.t

      That if anything Apple was "struggling" in the PC Era. Though I tend to doubt the whole Post PC ting anyway. Since every device mobile or otherwise is a computer and hence a PC.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • Re: Since every device mobile or otherwise is a computer and hence a PC.

        Apple and Microsoft do their best to hide that fact, though, by crippling multitasking, denying access to the filesystem, and tightly controlling the ability to develop software for them.

        Android is the only mobile platform that doesn't try to pretend it's not a computer.
        ldo17
        • Don't hink that is what is necessary for a device to be determined s

          computer. Just saying.....

          Pagan jim
          James Quinn
          • Re: Don't hink that is what is necessary for a device to be determined s

            In order to be called a "computer", it has to be able to do computery things. Just saying...
            ldo17
          • And they do... If you want just another computer well how dull can that be?

            Besides I don't know what you're problem is I can multi task with my iPad.

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • Re: I can multi task with my iPad.

            Apple has a bunch of different ways of not-quite-multitasking in IOS. And they added a few more in later versions. None of which work as simply as standard POSIX processes and threads, which is what you get courtesy of the Linux kernel on Android.

            Like I said, Apple and Microsoft try to pretend their mobile devices are not really computers, Android doesn't.
            ldo17
          • Does it matter what you call it?

            That's just plain hinky, don't you hink? Or, it could be stinky. Or it could be hinkystinky. But it doesn't really matter what you call it, does it?
            SRSwain
        • Android is malware by definition

          Provided by advertising and data mining giant Google. It is a platform people should stay clear off. But of course all of these free software and promises from Google are way to good to ignore.

          That you surrender your privacy and end up with a mediocre product, that does not perform and if you're lucky does not crash too often, that is taken for granted.
          sjaak327
          • hmm...

            nice story troll.
            Naryan
          • Crack

            I am reminded of the strategy used by drug dealers in the 70's and 80's of giving away cocaine to kids and weak-minded adults to get them hooked (addicted), then raping them for all their money.

            P.S. Ignore @Naryan name calling. Facts confuse the afore mentioned adults.
            JScottA44
          • Cool Story Bro.

            Some of us prefer to take that "control" back and root/jailbreak our phones giving us access to the aforementioned and without those annoying ads, but thanks for playing.
            wasabitobiko
        • MS?

          Apple maybe but I can multitask just fine on my Win 8 tablet - I can also access the file system and develop software for it without issue - what are you talking about?
          archangel9999
          • Re: I can multitask just fine on my Win 8 tablet

            Maybe you should buy two. That might help boost the sagging sales of Windows 8.
            ldo17
          • Talking to hear yourself talk?

            By the way, every time I see your username it looks like 1dio7, ijs
            bobjones2007
    • Hmm...

      Two companies struggling? Microsoft struggling to come out with a tablet, Apple struggling to figure out what to do with $137 billion.
      RttheArtist
      • Re: Apple struggling to figure out what to do with $137 billion.

        Depends on whether you think its business is technology or banking.
        ldo17