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Steve Jobs says Apple must 'think big' with $40 billion in cash

post #1 of 323
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Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told investors at Thursday's shareholder meeting that his company's massive war chest of $40 billion gives it security and flexibility, but while a stock buy-back won't drive up AAPL shares, making big and bold moves will.

The CEO did not, however, indicate how Apple intends to use its stockpile of cash and securities. According to Reuters, Jobs told investors that he believed putting the money into a dividend or share buyback would not influence the price of AAPL stock. The meeting was held Thursday at Apple's corporate campus in Cupertino, Calif.

Instead, Jobs reportedly said Apple must "think big" in order to move its stock price higher.

In addition, Bloomberg reported that Jobs said Apple is holding on to its cash for "big, bold" risks. Apple revealed in its first quarter 2010 investor conference call that it had accrued $39.8 billion in cash by the end of the December quarter.

A year ago, Jobs was absent from the annual shareholder meeting due to health issues. He eventually returned to work at Apple in June, after a successful liver transplant.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune Brainstorm Tech noted from Thursday's shareholder meeting that Jobs looked good, answered a majority of the shareholders' questions, and was "feisty" and funny. When one person asked what keeps Jobs awake at night, he responded: "Shareholder meetings."

A question regarding iPhone exclusivity with AT&T in the U.S. was also reportedly shot down without comment. Avon CEO Andrea Jung, the new co-lead director of the Apple Board of Directors, joked that Tipper Gore, wife of board member and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, should join them on the board to expand the female presence.

Shareholders also voted down proposed environmental measures that were intended to make the company do more to analyze its impact on the environment. The two plans would have had Apple do thorough annual reports and form a committee to focus on environmental sustainability.
post #2 of 323
Steve and Apple management, would you take a couple of years off and run the country?? Please
post #3 of 323
Most executives wish they could declare that at a shareholder meeting. Staying awake nights? He's doing pretty well, methinks. <fans self with $40B> Yeeesss, we're doing ok. Probability of shareholder revolt, 0.0%
post #4 of 323
Note to AI, Andrea Jung is a female not an Andrew. She's quite famous actually.
post #5 of 323
So, Steve, what are you going to do with that $40 Billion war chest that Apple has...

I'm thinking of buying a small developing nation and making myself god emperor....

Something like the Sudan, Luxembourg or Slovinia... [three random countires with a GDP LESS than 40 Billion...] :-)
post #6 of 323
Just don't keep all of the cash in a Bank of America checking account. You are only insured up to $250,000.
post #7 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdanboy View Post

Steve and Apple management, would you take a couple of years off and run the country?? Please

Right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tods View Post

Luckily only a small minority of shareholders want a huge dividend, but it bothers me that anybody makes noise about it. Which would deliver more long-term profit: you or I investing our tiny share of that 40 billion in something other than Apple, or letting Apple invest it in itself?

With my tech stock I don't want dividends. This market segment is so fickle you need to have the cash on hand to but billion in NAND for the quarter or by a company when needed. $40B isn't that much money when you consider what a few bad quarters can do. That segment is too fickle.
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post #8 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajack7 View Post

Just don't keep all of the cash in a Bank of America checking account. You are only insured up to $250,000.

This being BoA, they probably have a $39 fee for every dollar you are over $250,000.
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post #9 of 323
Ha, $40 billion and they can't spend anything to see what Apple's impact on the environment is? That's not very green of them.
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post #10 of 323
Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies.

3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worth $18B and has a very high P/E ratio. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all. Apple ends up with a set of duplicate products on the CS side, but that can be fixed over time...

4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?
post #11 of 323
Just steadily plowing along, with their eyes clearly focused on the ball.

One has to wonder: Why do others have such a tough time replicating this? There is so much talent with the money out there in the tech world that could be creating more value for their investors.
post #12 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies.

3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worht $18B and has a very high P/E ration. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all.

4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?

All unwise, unnecessary, or unfocused.

1. There is **nothing** that Netflix brings to the table that Apple couldn't replicate today, if it wanted to.

2. Attempts to marry content by hardware/software companies have invariably ended in disaster (e.g., Sony). Moreover, content is a slow-growth business.

3. See (1) above.

4. See (1) above. Also, could raise antitrust eyebrows.

5. See (2) above.
post #13 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Just steadily plowing along, with their eyes clearly focused on the ball.

One has to wonder: Why do others have such a tough time replicating this? There is so much talent with the money out there in the tech world that could be creating more value for their investors.

Have you dealt with many C level people (CEO, CIO, etc)?

They all believe that they have the 'vision' and the ability to make something workable and want to leave their mark on the company.

Jobs has this trait in spades, but he is also focused enough to avoid some of the pitfalls [Dells PDAs and/or Phone? Gateway Computers 'Country Stores'? etc.]
post #14 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies.

3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worth $18B and has a very high P/E ratio. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all. Apple ends up with a set of duplicate products on the CS side, but that can be fixed over time...

4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?

Jobs is the largest disney share holder, he owns more than 7% of DIS. Buy Disney would allow Apple to re-invent the TV and media business. F**K the cable guys. Disney's market cap is about 60bn, Apple can buy with 50% cash (~30bn) and 50% in Apple stock.
post #15 of 323
edit: Pipped by anantksundaram.
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post #16 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Just steadily plowing along, with their eyes clearly focused on the ball.

One has to wonder: Why do others have such a tough time replicating this? There is so much talent with the money out there in the tech world that could be creating more value for their investors.

Why is it so tough? Because it require focus. Apple's entire line of products could fit on one table in the cafeteria. Name any other tech company of significant size that can say that! Apple could explode and offer a thousand different products, but they would then lose focus on what matters. Awesome products.
post #17 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tods View Post

Luckily only a small minority of shareholders want a huge dividend, but it bothers me that anybody makes noise about it. Which would deliver more long-term profit: you or I investing our tiny share of that 40 billion in something other than Apple, or letting Apple invest it in itself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reliason View Post

So, Steve, what are you going to do with that $40 Billion war chest that Apple has...

I'm thinking of buying a small developing nation and making myself god emperor....

Something like the Sudan, Luxembourg or Slovinia... [three random countires with a GDP LESS than 40 Billion...] :-)

Lux for stability, the others for growth potential, if you clean up the place, you might really have something. Don't know how that would work though.

When you buy a company (or hypothetically, a country), you don't buy it for the amount they took in last year, you generally buy it for many times that. For example, Apple's market capitalization is roughly four times last year's revenue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajack7 View Post

Just don't keep all of the cash in a Bank of America checking account. You are only insured up to $250,000.

I think it's all invested in some form or another. It's not like they'd keep it all in savings account, those can't hope to keep up with inflation.
post #18 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.


I was thinking about that, but the glory of Netflix is it's neutrality. Steve Jobs is Disney's largest shareholder and creates a lot of content, which conflicts with other content creators.

If Apple bought Netflix, I'm sure the other content creators would pull their content.


Quote:
3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worth $18B and has a very high P/E ratio. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all. Apple ends up with a set of duplicate products on the CS side, but that can be fixed over time...

Apple could create a better Photoshop and CS than Adobe ever could, but buying them would eliminate the competition. I don't think Apple cares so much about the business market, the consumer market is much bigger according to what Phil says.


Quote:
4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

Charity case is all it is.


Quote:
5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?


Steve already owns more of Disney than anyone. What a conflict that would cause if Apple bought the rest.
post #19 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

Ha, $40 billion and they can't spend anything to see what Apple's impact on the environment is? That's not very green of them.

Apple already spends a lot on monitoring its environmental impact. They are the only company I've heard of that figures out its carbon footprint by including its manufacturing and its office and retail operations.

These latest shareholder resolutions were not well thought out, and didn't seem positive to me. I usually vote for environmentally-conscious shareholder resolutions, but I voted against these.
post #20 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElmCityWeb View Post

Ha, $40 billion and they can't spend anything to see what Apple's impact on the environment is? That's not very green of them.

Apple s spending a fair amount on this now. They've got programs in place for this, as well as making sure their products are environmentally sound.

What they don't want is a mandated situation in which they would be constrained to do certain things that might not be good for the long term. From my own experiences, I can say that management dislikes having restraints put on them which limits their flexibility.
post #21 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmac View Post

Jobs is the largest disney share holder, he owns more than 7% of DIS. Buy Disney would allow Apple to re-invent the TV and media business. F**K the cable guys. Disney's market cap is about 60bn, Apple can buy with 50% cash (~30bn) and 50% in Apple stock.

Then there is no need to buy it. Jobs can make all the inroads he needs to benefit both companies without resorting to killing Apple's stock price, losing any cushion they had for future endeavors the decade after that, likely bullocking both companies in the process.

The reason Jobs is so effective is by having a keen focus, not trying to buy companies to prove a point or settle a vendetta.


PS: Recall what happened to Yahoo when it was rumoured MS was going to buy them. The stock price skyrockets, thus making the MarketCap even higher, which makes the projected cost even higher.
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post #22 of 323
Apple's Tim Cook (from AppleInsider Post a few days back):

Keeping it simple

One focus for Apple, Cook revealed, is to keep matters simple. The Cupertino, Calif., company hasn't been interested in doing large acquisitions because of value and compatibility issues.

"We've always been about making the best product, not having the highest market share or the highest revenue," he said. "And so acquiring a company so our revenue gets larger isn't something that drives us."

The same philosophy applies to Apple's product line. Cook said the company doesn't want to overextend itself, and noted that the company's entire line of products could fit on one table. The only other high-revenue, publicly traded companies that could likely say that would be oil companies, he said.

Most companies, he said, simply aim to get bigger as they become more successful, but Apple has intentionally avoided that approach.

"The management team at Apple would never let that happen," Cook said. "That's not what we're about."

Steve Jobs:

Jobs reportedly said Apple must "think big"

Huh, seems like opposite ends of the spectrum!

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post #23 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by zmac View Post

Jobs is the largest disney share holder, he owns more than 7% of DIS. Buy Disney would allow Apple to re-invent the TV and media business. F**K the cable guys. Disney's market cap is about 60bn, Apple can buy with 50% cash (~30bn) and 50% in Apple stock.

This would also force other media companies which Apple must do business with to move away from Apple. It's best if Apple doesn't directly involve themselves in this.

A few years ago, I asked Canon's marketing director why Canon didn't make higher end camcorders. The response was that as the largest seller of lenses to the companies that make those pro models, they wouldn't do that, because those companies would see Canon as competing with them, and that would drive them into the arms of Fuji.

The same thing applies here.
post #24 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

All unwise, unnecessary, or unfocused.

1. There is **nothing** that Netflix brings to the table that Apple couldn't replicate today, if it wanted to.

2. Attempts to marry content by hardware/software companies have invariably ended in disaster (e.g., Sony). Moreover, content is a slow-growth business.

3. See (1) above.

4. See (1) above. Also, could raise antitrust eyebrows.

5. See (2) above.

Agreed. These ideas run totally counter to what Apple is all about. These are the kinds of things that MBA CEOs do to impress their friends.

Having said that, the cash hoard is too big -- they need to make some good investments with it. But I suspect it will be more of the same --- more locking in of long term component supplies through large up-front payments; more R&D (developing in-house CPUs, for example); and more very targeted acquisitions of small companies.

The most radical idea I have is for them to make a targeted push into certain types of business environments. Tim Cook noted the other day that if a Mac can improve the productivity of someone making $150,000 a year by 1%, then the Mac pays for itself in one year. I think that statement indicates that Apple sees some potential to get into businesses in a very targeted way -- the highly educated, highly payed workers who have the clout to demand whatever computer they want. Apple is well positioned now to go after that market. That would require some more investment in support and marketing infrastructure to go after that business, also maybe some in-house development of software for that market.

My very rough sense is that they should get the cash hoard down to about $20 billion. That still gives them a nice margin for error in case their next big thing is a massive flop.
post #25 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies.

3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worth $18B and has a very high P/E ratio. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all. Apple ends up with a set of duplicate products on the CS side, but that can be fixed over time...

4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?

1.) Why would Apple (computer/consumer electronics company) get into the physical media delivery business? Apple already has the 'on demand' functions of Netflix built in with a higher margin.
2.) Apple IS a content distribution business - why would they move from the paradigm of 'content distribution to support our hardware/software agenda' to lower margin general distribuion.
3.) Why? Adobe is already one of the largest suppliers of apple software, why buy them? For Flash? no.
4.) Buy Palm - No. just... No (Former Treo Owner, now iPhone owner)
5.) Buy Disney(Disney, ESPN, ABC) -- why expend the cash to move into a market that Apple is not suited to running. Especially when the CEO of Apple is ALREADY the single largest stock holder of Disney.

Apple could buy a high end audio/TV/etc manufacturer [to produce Apple TVs, literally TVs] but Apple has steadfastly avoided owning the manufacturing assets, preferring contract manufacturers.

No, apple is developing an Engineering competency to bring iOS to other products - TVs being an obvious starting point. Why buy a company when you can just leverage your culture and design ethos.

besides, having 40 billion in the bank means that Apple can FUND the engineering competency I referenced above for YEARS without it having to deliver a product until the product is 'right' [Tech Level + Manufacter cost + User Accpetance].
post #26 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by reliason View Post

So, Steve, what are you going to do with that $40 Billion war chest that Apple has...

I'm thinking of buying a small developing nation and making myself god emperor....

Something like the Sudan, Luxembourg or Slovinia... [three random countires with a GDP LESS than 40 Billion...] :-)

Luxembourg a developing nation, that's new. A Western European country with a per capita GDP 37.5% higher than the U.S.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the U.S. educational system . . .
post #27 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Luxembourg a developing nation, that's new. A Western European country with a per capita GDP 37.5% higher than the U.S.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the U.S. educational system . . .

That is per capita which doesn't give us the GDP of the country, though I think his numbers are off since I'm seeing each of those being in the 50s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_GDP_(nominal)
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post #28 of 323
Buy $10 billion in Microsoft shares and spend $1 billion advertising the "bail out".

Just for sh*ts and giggles.

Cost = $11 Billion.

Result = priceless.
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post #29 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Apple's Tim Cook (from AppleInsider Post a few days back):

Keeping it simple

One focus for Apple, Cook revealed, is to keep matters simple. The Cupertino, Calif., company hasn't been interested in doing large acquisitions because of value and compatibility issues.

"We've always been about making the best product, not having the highest market share or the highest revenue," he said. "And so acquiring a company so our revenue gets larger isn't something that drives us."

The same philosophy applies to Apple's product line. Cook said the company doesn't want to overextend itself, and noted that the company's entire line of products could fit on one table. The only other high-revenue, publicly traded companies that could likely say that would be oil companies, he said.

Most companies, he said, simply aim to get bigger as they become more successful, but Apple has intentionally avoided that approach.

"The management team at Apple would never let that happen," Cook said. "That's not what we're about."

Steve Jobs:

Jobs reportedly said Apple must "think big"

Huh, seems like opposite ends of the spectrum!

I see no conflict.

Cook was saying that the intent of many companies was to get bigger by any means possible. That getting bigger was the goal in itself. I agree that that's what many companies do.

Jobs wasn't saying that. Apple has grown to become big by developing excellent and innovative products. Growth is inevitable. Because of that, they've accumulated big bucks. When it comes to decide what to do with them, Apple has bought small companies for their technology and employee knowledge and skill. But with the money just coming in, Apple must be realistic about what to do with it. That means "thinking big".

That doesn't mean, by default, buying another big company. It could be a big step for Apple. More large data centers, increasing R&D substantially, increasing the number of stores more quickly, etc. Possibly moving to constructing an advanced manufacturing facility. Increasing investment in processors, memory, LCD panels, AMOLED, or other parts they need.

But it COULD mean buying, or investing in a large company. I had thought, several years ago, that buying Sun, when it was still doing well, would have given them the credibility in the back offices they don't have, and ownership of several technologies that they were using, or thinking of using, but that didn't happen.
post #30 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Luxembourg a developing nation, that's new. A Western European country with a per capita GDP 37.5% higher than the U.S.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the U.S. educational system . . .

You sir, obviously miss the humor. I just went down the GDP chart and found those nations under 40MMM. I assure you, I hold the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in high esteem. I figured I'd get MORE hate including Syria...

All I have to say to you about the American Education system is... It's f'n Broke.

But let me ask you this, While I can find Luxembourg on a Globe, can you Find Nebraska? :-D We're a US, midwestern State with more population and land than Lux. [and probably more cattle than Lux has population also :-)]
post #31 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies.

3. Buy Adobe, though Adobe is nearly worth $18B and has a very high P/E ratio. This would settle any problems with flash and mobile MacOS devices once and for all. Apple ends up with a set of duplicate products on the CS side, but that can be fixed over time...

4. Buy Palm to consolidate the smart phone market. Palm is worth pocket change ($1B)

5. Buy Disney? Or another large media corporation like Liberty?

Buy Sony's consumer electronics business for a song, integrate iPhoneOS and iTunes in them and watch as competitors shit their pants when Apple/Sony becomes the default TV/Audio/Camcorder choice of all those people who already use iTunes.
post #32 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

Ideas for Apple acquisitions:

1. Buy Netflix. Netflix is worth less than $3.5B and is a profitable company. This is the way to turn AppleTV from a hobby to an industry leading product.

This makes no sense IMO. They can replicate what Netflix does without buying Netflix itself. Mostly what they would be buying if they buy Netflix is the customer base and a bunch of physical buildings and infrastructure that they probably don't want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

2. Get into content distribution business by buying one or more content distribution companies. ...

This is closer to what I think will happen.
Apple will buy Amazon or create something similar with online retailing.
post #33 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Luxembourg a developing nation, that's new. A Western European country with a per capita GDP 37.5% higher than the U.S.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the U.S. educational system . . .

I give you a very small country, with a population of less than a half million, which depends on its income, mostly from banks which house hundreds of billions from tax evaders, just like Switzerland. The rest is from tourism and income from casinos.

What does education have to do with it?
post #34 of 323
Tipper on the board? Oh god that's frightening. Good thing it was a joke.
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post #35 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by reliason View Post

1.) Why would Apple (computer/consumer electronics company) get into the physical media delivery business? Apple already has the 'on demand' functions of Netflix built in with a higher margin.

Netflix is actually currently the leader in online media delivery for Video rentals. The reason why they were able to accomplish this was partly because they have better technology than others (e.g. real time h.264 streaming compared to Amazon's solution that has delays and requires local storage) but mostly because they had a good customer base through their mail order DVD rental business. Make no mistake, Netflix's long term goal is to switch to a pure online delivery model. They simply cannot do this today since many of the media companies do not allow their content to be distributed online. Apple could certainly change that.
post #36 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by reliason View Post

But let me ask you this, While I can find Luxembourg on a Globe, can you Find Nebraska? :-D We're a US, midwestern State with more population and land than Lux. [and probably more cattle than Lux has population also :-)]

That is a good point. Europe has 50 countries the US has 50 states, yet the US is considerably larger. It's not unreasonable to expect an American not to know much of the world when they drive all day and still not be out of their state, while there are only a few places in Europe can do that without crossing multiple countries.
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post #37 of 323
Jobs must have been in a good mood... at least he did not answer what keeps him awake at night with "Flash"...

All against Tipper Gore on the Apple board though... Bringing that PMRC lady to the board will only ensure further advancements in censorship. Let Avon have her...

I like that "think big" statement though. Guaranteed to create tons of hype and speculation for nothing.
post #38 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

Agreed. These ideas run totally counter to what Apple is all about. These are the kinds of things that MBA CEOs do to impress their friends.

Having said that, the cash hoard is too big -- they need to make some good investments with it. But I suspect it will be more of the same --- more locking in of long term component supplies through large up-front payments; more R&D (developing in-house CPUs, for example); and more very targeted acquisitions of small companies.

The most radical idea I have is for them to make a targeted push into certain types of business environments. Tim Cook noted the other day that if a Mac can improve the productivity of someone making $150,000 a year by 1%, then the Mac pays for itself in one year. I think that statement indicates that Apple sees some potential to get into businesses in a very targeted way -- the highly educated, highly payed workers who have the clout to demand whatever computer they want. Apple is well positioned now to go after that market. That would require some more investment in support and marketing infrastructure to go after that business, also maybe some in-house development of software for that market.

My very rough sense is that they should get the cash hoard down to about $20 billion. That still gives them a nice margin for error in case their next big thing is a massive flop.

Good points/ideas; nice post.
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post #39 of 323
Build Apple Electric Cars. They will look like the original Venture One, has a range of 400+ miles. Go top speed of 180MPH, Charges in 15 minutes or less, has removable power modules available at all existing gas stations for those long trips. Built in iPhone/iPod Touch Dashboard Module Integration for that seamless built in look. Sell these all at 11K and if your a Windows users, your cost would be 80K.

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post #40 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Buy Sony's consumer electronics business for a song, integrate iPhoneOS and iTunes in them and watch as competitors shit their pants when Apple/Sony becomes the default TV/Audio/Camcorder choice of all those people who already use iTunes.

Absolute fantasy.

Why would they buy a failing consumer electronics company when Apple is already a highly successful consumer electronics company, better advertising, retail presence with all major vendors, and a very good history of being able to quickly scale manufacturing to their needs?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the U.S. educational system . . . "

I'd save the education comparisons.
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