When Apple delivered its quarterly earnings report this week, all eyes were on how severely lagging iPhone sales would eat into the tech giant’s revenue. However, Apple also disclosed that it has a staggering $245 billion in cash on hand, up almost $8 billion from the previous quarter.
That statistic got us wondering, what should Apple buy with all that money? Here are seven ideas for a Tim Cook-led spending spree.
1. 245 Million iPhones
When Apple slashed guidance targets ahead of its quarterly earnings report, CEO Tim Cook explained that iPhone sales had been much lower than expected. Apple could solve that problem by engaging in a little retail wash-trading.
With a retail price of $999, Apple could purchase approximately 245 million iPhone Xs devices.
This strategy wouldn’t do much for Apple’s bottom line — or share price — but it would certainly boot sales figures. “Apple Sacks Tim Cook after iPhone Sales Shatter Estimates” would make a memorable headline, anyway.
2. A Chinese Smartphone Manufacturer
A better solution to its flailing iPhone sales would be to purchase an established Chinese smartphone manufacturer that better understands the consumer market in Greater China.
Sluggish sales in China were the primary driver of Apple’s guidance cut, and the tech giant faces a tough decision if it hopes to build market share there moving forward.
Producing a lower-cost iPhone for the Chinese market would likely boost sales figures, but analysts worry it would tarnish the brand cachet that founder Steve Jobs so carefully built for the firm — and its flagship mobile product.
Purchasing a local manufacturer would allow Apple to continue to build inroads into Greater China’s mobile market without having to cut corners on iPhone product quality.
3. 3.2 Million Tesla Model S Vehicles
US automaker Tesla recently cut the cost of its cars by $2,000 to help buyers offset the impact of a reduced federal credit on electric vehicle purchases. According to the Tesla store, that brings the cost of the base Model S to around $76,000 after savings.
At that price, Apple could afford to pre-order 3.2 million Teslas, more than enough to gift one to every single person in Silicon Valley.
Sure, Apple could use its $245 billion to max out Tesla’s delivery queue for the foreseeable future, but why not think bigger?
Apple has long desired to break into the autonomous vehicle market, and it has devoted significant resources to a closely-guarded initiative called Project Titan to make that vision a reality.
But Project Titans seems to have run into some roadblocks. Just last week, CNBC reported that Apple had laid off 200 Project Titan employees. Moreover, Apple seems to have lowered its once-lofty ambitions of producing a fully-autonomous vehicle, instead focusing its efforts on developing software for this market.
If Tim Cook still wanted to make the Apple Car a reality, he could make a mammoth offer to purchase the $53 billion Tesla company outright and use its technology and production infrastructure as the basis for its new fleet of self-driving iCars.
5. Every Cryptocurrency in Existence [Twice]
At one point in late 2017, there was a real debate about whether the cryptocurrency market cap or Apple would be the first to reach a $1 trillion valuation.
Apple won that race, though its value has since fallen back to around $795 billion. The cryptocurrency market, meanwhile, has plunged more than 80 percent from its all-time high above $800 billion.
With the crypto market cap currently worth an estimated $113 billion, Apple could afford to buy every single unit of the more than 2,100 cryptocurrencies in existence — twice — and still have close to $20 billion left over to corner the market on Facebook’s rumored cryptocurrency project whenever it reaches production.
6. The LeBron James Treatment for Every Apple Employee
Maintaining one’s status as the greatest basketball player on earth after 16 seasons isn’t easy, which is why Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James spends approximately $1.5 million every year to keep his body in tip-top shape.
Apple could afford to offer its full-time employees that same level of care, at least for one year. Providing its 132,000-member strong workforce with the LeBron James treatment would only cost the firm $198 billion, leaving it with $47 billion in cash on hand.
7. Every Major Professional Sports Team in the United States
Apple could treat every employee like Lebron James for a year, but once again: Why not think bigger?
With $245 billion, the company could purchase every professional sports team in the United States and Canada at a fair market price. According to Forbes’ 2018 estimates, buying every team in the NFL ($82.24 billion), NBA ($49.5 billion), MLB ($49.35 billion), and NHL ($19.5 billion) would cost a combined $201 billion.
After all, who wouldn’t pay top dollar for a ticket to Super Bowl LX to watch the Arizona iClouds™ face off against the Jacksonville Jobses?
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