Sunday night, when Apple announced that it was going to be holding a conference call the following morning regarding its plans for its massive cash pile, the internet ran wild with speculation.

We heard all kinds of theories, ranging from a surprise Twitter buyout to a small carrier acquisition. But Apple’s actual announcement of dividends and stock buybacks was much more tame.

While this outcome might have appeased investors, it left some of us wanting more. Here’s what I think the company should do with its money…

I’m obviously not an economics mastermind, but indulge me for a minute. What if Apple used some of its cash to purchase a controlling stake in its largest manufacturing partner, Foxconn. Yeah, you heard me. Foxconn.

Just think about it. This would allow Apple to control its own manufacturing costs, not to mention the costs of its competitors. Remember, Samsung, Amazon, and other companies use Foxconn to build their products too.

Apple could also use the new weight to take control of Foxconn’s labor problems. The manufacturer has dragged the iPhone-maker along with it through a firestorm of criticism over the past few years due to repeated reports of poor working conditions. And this would give Apple the chance to make things right.

As crazy as all of this sounds, it’s actually not unheard of. The move is called “backward vertical integration.” It’s when a company takes control of one or more of its upstream suppliers that contribute to the production of its products. A good example would be if Mercedes owned the companies that made the tires and glass it uses to make its cars.

For what it’s worth, Apple’s stock buyback and dividend program is fairly minimal compared to its overall cash balance. So the company is obviously keeping a lot of money around for something. The question is, what?

What do you think Apple should do with its money?

  • That might be an option but what I’d like to see is Apple move production to America. Now hear me out…I don’t mean everything but start small and see what happens. Build a factory in a remote state like Wyoming and build the Apple headphone and dock cables. The small white colored extras that every Apple product needs. Thats what I think they should do.

    • Anonymous

      A few small problems with that. 1. Most american’s are lazy as shit. They want to get paid without working. I see it all the time, especially in government positions. Why do you think there are so many illegal Mexicans and Asians in this country. I’ll tell you why, they work harder for their money. So even if Apple did bring production here, most of the employee’s wouldn’t even be Americans. 2. Labor laws would slow down production very quickly because people cant work more than 40 hours without getting paid extra. So to solve the production issue, they would need more employee’s. More employee’s means Apple has to pay more taxes. Paying more taxes means less money in apples pockets and less money in investors pockets. 3. With minimum wage being $7.25? i think, Apple would have to pay more per hour to get the same thing done. 4. Production buildings have to meet the governments rules and regulations, building codes, stuff like that. Which all of those are probably more strict here than they are in Asia and other countries. 5. If the f***ing president of the USA cant get Apple to bring those jobs back here, then there is no way in hell they are going to do it out of the kindness of their hearts. Unless China disappears of the face of the earth, or Apple really screws up on something and they need the good publicity to get them back on track. Sorry for the long rant there.

  • Maybe they should lower the prices on their products (iPad, MBA and MBP for example).

  • Anonymous

    Who gives a shit what they do with their money, seriously, is this what constitutes news nowadays.

    “This would allow Apple to control its own manufacturing costs, not to mention the costs of its competitors” … You think that manufacturers running Android would care less if Apple did what you say, they would just charge more for the rest of the iPad and iPhones and every other device that Samsung and the likes supply parts for, if Apple try and screw anybody they will intern get screwed and the only 1’s that will suffer are all you fanboys out there because any cost increases would be passed straight onto you !!

  • It’s bullshit they got more money than the 1%ers. Give us something truly magical for being so loyal. We the people who bought your products over the years deserve something more than just mocking us with your tiny(incremental) upgrades.

    • I want that feeling when I first held an apple product. And I retract that statement on how it’s bullshit they do deserve that money they made great products. I couldn’t edit it because my disqus is buggy.

  • Anonymous

    I know it cost so much to make the these wonderful products. But it will be nice if they lower the prises of their products.

    • God… its like you all think apple is this magical, super-social and ethical company.
      apple is not any different from any other of all the companys out there. and like all of them apple wants to make MONEY. nothing else, just money and no apple doesnt care, not about you not about me not about any foxconn employees, they just care about publicity and image, to ensure we, the consumers still want to buy their products, thats all. so why every would they want to reduce prices on any of their products?

      • Anonymous

        They also want to make there stock holders happy.

  • Maybe they should invest a portion to fix the iPhone battery problems, just a thought!!

  • m o

    TAKE OUT the OIL companies!!! THEY are the ONLYONE who can stand up to OIL, make room for evolution and free pass to free energy invention, as OIL companies just snap a finger (cash budget) and kill everybody who has good idea how to produce free energy to anyone with low cost product. MONKEYS will see just another conspiracy theory… Those not ignorant will see reality what has to be done to save this planet… APPLE needs to present and produce technology, which was already invented years ago, but aslo has been put down not to threaten OIL companies…

  • Anonymous

    iCar (or some kind of automotive integration). They’ve been hiring automotive and mechanical engineers the past couple months now. My guess is they won’t need them for just building another computer or iDevice.

  • APPLE, Y U NOOO DONATE THE MONEY TO CHARITY??

  • Well Tim did hint at some cash being kept in stock in case of buy outs of small tech companies.

  • give it to charity

  • What I want to know is what happened to CydiaBulletin

    • Anonymous

      Maybe if we yell loud enough he will hear us. Cody! COOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Just in case there was any “confusion”…….

    THIS IS A LOT OF MONEY!!!!

  • Why dont they finally make a iphone 5

    • Anonymous

      There are prototypes currently out there, so maybe this year they’ll unveil it.

      • Hopefully, they had so much time honestly, they had time since the iphone 4 and they didnt even change the design, let alone even the new ipad came and is a huge success because of its retina display. I think that if apple changes the design it will catch more people interested.

  • Just buy china so we could really control the costs plus every one who buys an iPad gets a free Chinese baby food for thought

  • 1. Donate to charity
    2. Make all Devices cheaper in Europe and the rest of the world ( US people, u have it a lot cheaper, so please don’t complaine… My iPhone cost me twice almost trice as much in Sweden so…)
    3. Something new, a category of its own, like the IPad 🙂
    4. This should probably be on the number 2 or 1, but anyway, pay the people at Foxconn more + give them more time to rest! The are people too ( or a.k.a US peoples “middle class” which is China, cause only they work and I’ve heard there are some lazy people in US… And no, Europe can’t replace china…)

  • Fix the New Ipad to start?