With about US$151 billion in the bank, Apple has more money than it knows what to do with. All the more impressive is that two-thirds of Apple's cash hoard was generated during the past four years alone.
The above chart maps out Apple's cash on hand on a year-by-year basis.
From October 2011 to October 2012, Apple's bank account grew from $81.57 billion to $121.251 billion, an astonishing increase of $39.68 billion in just one year's time. The big product releases in that time frame included the iPhone 4S and the third generation iPad, which was the first iPad with a Retina Display.
It's no secret that the iPhone, quarter after quarter, accounts for the bulk of Apple's revenue. The following statistic, though, underscores how Apple's foray into the smartphone market accelerated its cash holdings.
From 2001 to 2005, during the iPod's "golden years" if you will, Apple's bank account increased by a moderately impressive 26%. But in 2007, the year the iPhone first hit store shelves, Apple's bank account increased by a whopping 52%. The 2010 release of the iPad, meanwhile, really set things into overdrive.
To appreciate how significant Apple's cash hoard is, check out this chart comparing Apple's financial position to that of a few countries.
As a final point, it's worth noting that the vast majority of Apple's money is stashed away overseas. Apple has been reluctant to bring it back to the U.S. because it doesn't want it taxed at corporate income tax rates.