Apple: too fruitful?

Apologies for a horrible pun but i’ve been pondering Apple’s latest financial pronouncement. They counted up the cash in their piggybank and found they have the small sum of $76.2 billion floating around! This is more than enough for a good night out and a cab home, this is riches bordering on insanity.

To put it into some perspective, $76.2 billion is more than the GDP of 126 countries. Ecuador, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica all do less well than Apple. Greece’s latest huge EU bailout is not far off the same amount.

What could Apple do with the money? Huge dividends for shareholders? Endow chairs at MIT and Cambridge? New internal research labs? Hire a few accountants to look into not accumulating so much money? Bring down the price of their products? Not much chance here – if people will pay hundreds of dollars for a mobile phone with facilities they don’t want, and then pay more for apps to try to justify the hundreds of dollars purchase price …

One suggestion that won’t be featuring too strongly in the business media is that they could do something about the awful conditions endured by workers in Chinese manufacturing facilities. Cut the working day to just twelve hours perhaps, or add a second fifteen minute break. Increase their wage to something that a kid with a paper round wouldn’t spit at. Return some jobs to the USA?

I vote for giving millions in dividends to billionaire shareholders. You know they need it more than others…

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