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 Morocco, Cuba, or a small European country

    The problem Apple has is that most of its cash offshore—68 percent, to be specific—and out of the U.S. taxman's hands. It can't repatriate its cash or the company will face massive tax bills.

    One of the best solutions for Apple is to buy a small country—based on gross domestic product (GDP)—so it can bring in its cash from all corners of the world at a zero-percent tax rate.

    Apple could buy country with a GDP of less than $137.1 billion, at least in theory (not including costs to build an iArmy to invade the place). It could make a bid for Morocco, Cuba, or even Luxembourg—a known tax haven—or a small European country like Latvia, and still have some cash left over to give everyone in the country an iPhone. 

  • Buy a private island

    Private islands don't actually cost that much anymore. Any medium-level multi-millionaire could probably snap up one for just a fraction of their overall worth. Actually making the place habitable, however, is something else, let alone turning the island from "Lost" into a popular tourist destination for morally bankrupt folk who seek a place in the purgatoric sun.

    According to one private island broker, the average going price for a private island in the Caribbean appears to be in the region of $3.5 million to about $47 million, give or take ten million or so.

    Or, if you look at the country's gross domestic product (GDP), Apple could buy the Cook Islands (get it? Tim Cook… oh, forget it) for a meager $183.2 million.

  • Give every U.S. student an iPad (or two... or five)

    There are roughly 49.8 million students in K-12 education in the U.S., with an additional 21.6 million students at college, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education.

    Apple could, with its $137.1 billion cash pile, give every single K-12 and college student, an iPad—literally any iPad, including the top-of-the-range iPad (128GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular) with Retina display at $929.

    But it doesn't just stop there. Apple could in fact give every single K-12 and college student two of the most expensive iPads on offer. If it were the cheapest Apple tablet—the iPad mini (16GB, Wi-Fi only) at $329, those 71.4 million students could be given five iPad mini tablets in total, and Apple would still have a few billion dollars left in the bank.

Topic: Apple

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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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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?
    • 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.
        • 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...
          • 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.
          • 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?
        • 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.
          • hmm...

            nice story troll.
          • 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.
          • 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.
        • 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?
          • 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.
          • Talking to hear yourself talk?

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

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

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