I Know It Would Feel Wonderful, Steve, But I'm Afraid Buying Dell Isn't an Option
With some $15.4 billion gathering dust in its bank accounts, Apple’s cash reserve is among the Fortune 500’s largest. Yet since 1999, it’s spent just $217 million to repurchase stock and it’s not yet declared a stock dividend.
What is the company planning to do with all that money? Certainly, CEO Steve Jobs must have an idea or three. Fortune’s Jon Fortt speculates that the company might use a portion of those funds to buy its way into a new niche market with some small acquisitions. It may finally go through with that long-rumored TiVo acquistion.
Apple can’t be too happy with AT&T right now. First the carrier turned its iPhone activations into a nightmarish PR disaster, then its CEO pre-announced a 3G version of the device that will make its precursor obsolete right before the annual holiday consumer binge.
Were Apple to bid in the auction and win, it would provide a nice solution to problems like these. A viable 700-MHz network and an OS X-friendly VOIP client is all the company would need not just to dump AT&T, but also compete with it. “Apple is the most anti-carrier company there is,” a former Apple executive recently told BusinessWeek. “They’re probably already frustrated with AT&T. If they put a few billion behind this, they could build a kick-ass network.”