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Apple's Soaring Pile Of Cash

Apple brought Steve Jobs back to the company in December 1996. Since then, he's been building a massive pile of cash, rolling out new product after new product.


On December 27th, 1996, Apple had $1.8 billion in cash and securities. Today it has $34 billion.


(Thanks to reader Cory Padfield for this chart idea.)

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That pile of ca$h fuels a number of things for Apple:

1) R&D - they can out R&D spend the opposition and stay 3+ years ahead, as they did with the iPhone.

2) Exclusivity - when they find a product/technology they need, they can buy up all of it, for an extended period, thus lowering their buy price, and shutting out the opposition.

3) Takeovers - we haven't seen this much yet, but when you have that much money you can grow your business by acquisition, as Cisco do. #chartoftheday