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What's Apple going to do with $97 billion in cash?


During its earnings conference call, Apple confirmed the company is sitting on a treasure chest of US$97.6 billion. This stack of cash is steadily growing, up from $81.6 billion at the end of the September quarter. With all that money in the bank, you can't help but wonder... what's Apple going to with it all?

Rather than sitting idly in the bank, Apple said it's "actively discussing the best use of its cash," which could be a hint it's looking at strategic acquisitions. Neither CEO Tim Cook nor CFO Peter Oppenheimer would comment specifically on any acquisitions or what other plans Apple had for this cash. The only straight answer was that Apple, in the past, has spent its cash wisely and will continue to spend it wisely in the future.

Apple has a long history of quietly acquiring companies and adding their talent to Apple's hardware and software teams. In past few years, the company has acquired mapping company Placebase, 3D-map maker C3 Technologies and online music service LaLa. It recently scooped up voice control software Siri and flash memory maker Anobit.

If Apple does use some of its reserves to acquire new technology, which company will be next? Besides improving its Numbers app, what else could Apple do with its money?

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