Last April, Apple announced plans to increase its share repurchasing program from US$10 billion to $60 billion. Apple at the time noted that this represented the "largest single share repurchase authorization in history."
While the full buyback program is slated to be finished by the end of 2015, Apple has already began buying back shares.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune reports:
By my calculation, the company spent $16 billion last quarter ($4 billion in cash, $12 billion through the so-called accelerated share repurchase program) to purchase 36 million of its own shares at an average price of just over $444.
Coupled with Apple's dividend payments, which now stand at $3.05 a share, Apple over the course of three years will be spending $100 billion as part of its initiative to return money to shareholders and buy back its own shares.