A certain Cupertino, California consumer electronics powerhouse has more cash on its hands than the cash-strapped US government which is struggling to raise its debt limit before the August 3 deadline and avoid a default at the same time. Business Insider nails it down, saying “the world’s largest tech company has more cash than the world’s largest sovereign government”. Apple sat on a cash pile of $76.2 billion at the end of the June quarter, the sum which is comprised of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Per this statement from the US Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion at the end of Wednesday, July 27. As Asymco’s Horace Dediu commented, Apple’s cash hoarde “is now nearly 16 percent higher than three months ago, the amount added last quarter is higher than the amount on hand 4.5 years ago and the cash added is higher than Google’s overall revenues in the quarter”. And unlike the US government…

…which owes a lot of money to creditors, Apple owes nothing to banks and has paid its debts in full when Steve Jobs re-energized the company back in the 1990s. It also helps that Apple does not pay dividends. The 76.2 billion dollar question, therefore, is what will Apple do with its billions? Company executives suggested the company is stashing all this money for times of uncertainty and strategic acquisitions, which makes sense for a company that had once been so badly wounded that it was just 90 days from bankruptcy. So far, Apple’s been spending modestly and snapping up smaller startups rather than go all out with multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions, like its ex-pal Google.

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