Apple is investing in SoftBank Group’s new technology fund, reports The Wall Street Journal. The company confirmed its plans with the outlet to invest $1 billion in the SoftBank Vision Fund to help finance new technologies that it could use in the future.
“We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told The Journal. She also noted that Apple has been working with SoftBank for several years.
Activist investor Carl Icahn earlier this year sold his position in Apple, but that doesn’t mean he no longer thinks Apple is a lucrative stock to invest in. Quite the contrary, he’s made several billion dollars on Apple!
That being said, he would invest back in the Cupertino firm were it not for Apple’s prospects in China, which he doesn’t feel secure about although he’s adamant that CEO Tim Cook is “doing a good job”.
Apple on Thursday announced that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, reports Reuters. Speaking with the outlet, Tim Cook said the venture will help his company “better understand the critical Chinese market.”
The move comes amidst slumping iPhone sales, which has driven Apple’s stock price down to $90 per share, and other struggles in China. Last month, the State Administration shut down the iBooks Store and iTunes Movie sales in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has invested some of his personal money in Nebia, a six-person start-up based in San Francisco which has developed a water-conserving shower head.
The startup has also received funding from the Schmidt Family Foundation, which was co-founded by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google. Apple confirmed to The New York Times that its CEO’s stake in Nebia was a personal investment, not on behalf of the company.
Apple has plans to announce a $200 billion program to buy back shares and raise its dividend, heavily upgrading its current buyback program announced three years ago, analyst Kulbinder Garcha of Credit Suisse told CNBC. Furthermore, Garcha raised the stock to “outperform” from “neutral”, seeing the stock rising 19 percent over the next year.