Apple is sitting on a cash pile that probably exceeds $75-billion dollars. What, besides earning a little interest (do the math on 3-percent of $75-billion—that’s over $2-billion a year). What does the company do with that money? They build giant data centers. They invest in new technologies. They corner the market on key components. They buy patents. They buy… hmmm. What does Apple do with all that money? What could they do? Here are five things I can see Apple doing to squeeze more value from their cash pile.
Do It Yourself
Apple is dependent on a number of other companies to build their products, so it makes sense for a control-driven company to find ways to gain ever more control over the manufacturing process.
#1 – Buy Adobe: Just kidding. That’s always on everyone’s list of what Apple could do with a few extra billions. How about if Apple buys Dell and then shuts it down?
#2 – Build Manufacturing: So far, Apple relies on the Chinese to build most of their hottest selling products. Even the Chinese realize that robots are where its at, so why couldn’t Apple build a manufacturing plant full of robots? Dump sand at one end of the factory, and ship out iPhones and iPads and Macs at the other end.
#3 – Buy Hulu: Just kidding. Again. Sorry. They might as well buy Barnes & Noble. If Hulu is such a great deal then why do the owners want to sell? Sorry. That’s not a good fit and neither is a bookstore full of atoms. What Apple could do is buy or buy into a chipmaker. Instead, they’re comfortable simply designing some of their own wares and having others do the sweat of building.
#4 – Buy Quantities: Actually, Apple already does this with hardware components. Because the company has so much cash to throw around at manufacturers, they can always have the largest supply of chips and ingredients at the lowest prices. In essence, Apple is investing in technology components by partnering with various manufacturers, coughing up upfront cash in exchange for a most-favored-nation status on their produce.
#5 – Buy A Competitor: No, I don’t mean Samsung, or Dell, or Motorola, or even a manufacturer. One of Apple’s largest and most influential competitors is Google. Apple bought Siri because it does search in ways Google does not. It may have bought C3 Technologies because it does 3D maps better than Google. Google and Facebook are in a face off, and Apple is stuck without much action in the social network scene.
Who could Apple buy to become a more social animal? Also on my list are the likes of Elgato or TiVo, both of which have products which could be melded into AppleTV, as could Netflix which has already dwarfed iTunes in streaming movies. Of course, getting and keeping movie and TV content is not an easy business. Otherwise, Apple could just sit on the money and make billions.