Apple: (half) out of ideas • 21 March 2012 • The SnowBlog

Apple: (half) out of ideas

On Monday of this week Apple announced what they were going to do with the nearly $100bn (that's 'billion' with a 'b') dollars of cash they have in their bank accounts. The money could be used for R&D on the Next Big Thing in electronics. Or to acquire smaller firms who are doing amazing things. Some people have even suggested they could buy Adobe and put them back on track producing amazing software with a Mac-centric twist (and ditch the Flash nonsense). Professor Brian Cox points out (in this interesting little interview for the BBC) that with those cash reserves Apple could pay for the entire UK science budget for 25 years. He hardly needs to spell out how many breakthroughs the last 25 years have produced that more than pay their way - and several have totally changed the world.
So what did Apple decide to do? They basically admitted they hadn't got any really good ideas and so they plan to give at least half the money back to their shareholders. And this is a company that hasn't paid dividends for 17 years. Yes, their investors are baying for a pay-out, but they'd be idiots to stand in the way if Apple had more ideas up their sleeve like the iPad, iPhone, iPod or Mac computing line - because ideas like that multiply their initial investment many times over. Personally, I'm enormously disappointed that Apple can't think of a case to make for spending that money on their future.


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