Sunday, March 20, 2011

Perspective: T-Mobile can be bought for $39B, Apple has over $50B in cash.

Pending all the necessary government approvals, AT&T announced today their plans to buy US GSM competitor T-Mobile for $39 billion. Without going into all the politics as to whether or not this is overall a good idea or benefit to consumers, I felt it was worth mentioning just what $39 billion dollars can actually purchase.

Though a follower of all things tech, I have a not-so-unique fascination with Apple, that company which sells those i-Thingies. Pretty much everyone is just as fascinated as I when Apple steals headlines for each shiny new toy. And one thing that most people know as of late is just how quickly Apple's cash reserves seem to continuously build. Last reports have their cash piles weighed in at a cool $51 billion. That's a heck of a lot of money. What drives journalists even crazier than the mind-boggling number alone is that nobody knows for sure what Apple plans to do with it. There have been some guesses; however, most of us sit and wait for them to take over the world.

But let's take another look at that number: $51 billion. In pure cash. No debt. A market valuation soon to pass Exxon to be the most valuable company in the world. And unlike the animosity most have toward Exxon, Apple and Steve Jobs have been named the most admired and loved company and CEO of last decade. What does all this mean? It means that that pile will continue to grow, and all the while Apple seems to have the highest restraint not to impulse-buy any thing they like, say, a leading wireless provider...

Of course, that's not their bag, being a carrier, but it does offer some perspective as to just what they're capable of doing with that money. Maybe they could buy Microsoft?

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