What would you do with $97 billion in the Apple bank? [Giveaway]

What would you do with $97 billion in the Apple bank? [Giveaway]

Following their Q1 2012 results, Apple now has a staggering, mind-boggling, almost unbelievable $97 billion dollars in the bank. That's cash reserves bigger than most other companies and countries... combined. That's a money bin even Scrooge McDuck could drown in.

What would you do if it were your money? Return it to the shareholders? (Pfft, what fun is that?) Buy all of Apple's competitors? Buy a Hollywood studio or carrier network? Buy your own subcontinent? Buy the moon? Or just blow it all on candy and dancers?

Seriously -- or at least as seriously as such a question could be posed! -- what would you do with Apple's $97 billion in the bank?

Leave a comment below with your best, most comedic, most tragic, most utterly entertaining answer and you'll be entered to win a $97 gift certificate for the iMore Store. (Yeah, $97 dollars, not $97 billion -- we're not made of Apple bucks!) Contest starts now and ends Sunday, Jan. 29 at midnight PT.

Enter now!

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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What would you do with $97 billion in the Apple bank? [Giveaway]

190 Comments

I would take a small chunk, say 5 million, and invest it in some of our technological colleges and universities and provide them with the latest and greatest tech and give them every opportunity to launch into Apple as soon as commencement exercises are over with to provide even greater innovations than what Apple has already given us so they stay the head of the class with competition far behind them.

Way to go, big spender :)
Personally I would give away about 96 Billion of it. Who needs that much money? There are hundreds of charities that could put it to good use.
The other billion would go to wine, women, and booze, of course!

I would donate at least $1 billion to different charities, research and development teams and colleges around the world. Keep some, say $20 billion for myself and future family cause I'm just a greedy person and the rest put in a bank for my future kids and future grand kids.

$10bn - Found research foundation dedicated to eradicating some disease.
$5bn - A bunch of those "you graduate high school, I'll pay for your college" situations
$5bn - Economics foundation dedicated to concocting successful economic strategies for developing nations
$20bn - Rebuild the city of Camden, NJ by opening a domestic Apple plant--subsidizing the labor costs with another $5bn
$20bn - Do the same for Detroit (but with auto plants instead of Apple products, subsidizing with an additional $5bn)
$1bn - Donation to American University, my alma mater (and I'll set aside an additional couple mil for when they pester me for additional donations EVEN THOUGH I JUST BLOODY DONATED)
$9bn - Assorted research fellowships and institution foundings as they pique my interest
$7bn - Booze'n'hookers. A lot of each.

I would take some of the money and buy out RIM and use their enterprise features to enhance the enterprise side of Apple. Then create a cross-platform blackberry messenger.

I would use the money to focus on the elementary schools in this country with the goal of helping students to learn to read, write, do basic math, skills that many young children do not have. A proper elementary school education will give those kids a strong base to build upon.

I would use those 97 billion dollars to purchase the world's supply of nuclear weapons to wage thermonuclear war against Android/Google. However, I might need a couple billion more dollars since according to this chart (http://www.globalzero.org/files/scott/Total%20Military%20and%20Nuclear%2...), the world spent $104.9 billion on nukes in 2011. So just wait until the launch of the iPad 3/iPhone 5/iTV and Apple should be all set to make good on Steve's promise.
Note: This is supposed to be a joke; if this is not civil, respectful, or appropriate in any way, I apologize - that was not the intent.

Just for show, but as a fantastic marketing move, apple should start an apple space programme. To which the objective would be to reshape the moon to look like an massive apple logo. It'd be simple, just take a bite size chunk out of the side and fashion a leaf/stalk type thing at the top. Apple said no to a glowing apple logo on the phone, because they can now create a giant apple logo in the sky !! Don't mock, it could happen !!

I would buy Cuba and make it the 51st state and then make it into a gigantic tourist trap! Sorry Florida, your days are numbered!

I'd buy Microsoft. Then I'd shut the whole company down ... except for the Xbox division. That's the only part worth a damn.

Agree,
I think this was Steve's life long goal. There could be no better way to quiet the masses of Microsoft lovers that hate Apple products.
Imagine how wonderful the office would be if your desktop "just worked"!

I would buy me my own iSland, yes with the MAC naming. So it's a sland but better. Then I would have to put several billion in savings for future Apple products. I need to have a 72 in. retina display Apple TV.

Buy Sony,
Transform all Sony TVs into apple TVs
Transform play station into the ihub consol
Eliminate all those horrible crap-books and crap-lets
Utilize all of Sonys manufacturing for apple products
And then Finnish it off with buying all of the homes around Eric Schmidt and have each home blare "the bird is the word" song out all their windows 24/7, every few days they would stop for a random period of time and then turn back on as soon as he sighs and says finally it stopped, then BAM the bird is the word motha fu.....

Go to Vegas to double up. Then head directly to the nearest Apple Store to buy one of everything.

Buy all the lawyers to stop all of this lawsuit talk. Retain them all so they cannot sue their employer and a third of the Apple news talk goes away (the remaining thirds being Apple goodness and Apple rumors),

I'd buy a small fleet of air craft carriers, at approximately 1 billion a pop. Then I'd let my imagination take over from there.

I would
1. Buy a house (hate apartment living :)
2. Buy an SUV (this Kia is too small for a family of 5)
3. Donate to a school run by one my best freinds
4. Get the next iMac when it is released
5. (Most important) build a real iron man suit - oh man that would be sweet.

It's heart-warming to see a pile of Estonian 1-Kroon coins on the image, together with some Euro coins (5-cent) which replaced the Estonian Kroon a little over year ago.
Would the author mind sharing the background image source? Would be great for my desktop wallpaper :)

-Buy a Lottery Ticket - they might hit it big!
-Buy a country. How about iNdia, iRaq, iRan? Or maybe just a city. Maybe iStanbul or iNdianapolis.
-Buy some clothes for employees - even the execs have to wear jeans and plain shirts! Poor people.
-Save up to buy a Mac.
-Put aside some cash - you never know when you might need a few billion.
-Create Apple's own cellular network. iNet
-Stop SOPA/PIPA
-Go 4G!!!
Okay - more seriously...
-Give some back to consumers with some price cuts.
-Give to some charities. 97 Billion would feed a hell of a lot of people!
-Find the next big thing. Holographs? Flexible iPads? Siri on the Nano for the all in one device?

Lobby the US government for a tax holiday for corporations so what's left after lobbying could be brought back to the US for reinvestment.

My answer is serious and not trying to win any brownie points here...ok I'd buy my girlfriend a car and pay for her college and get married. Get my parents a small house. Help out one student pay off his/her student loans....and I'd gather the iMore staff toghether at California and have dinner with them so we can talk all kinds of iPhone stuff.....the rest I'd invest in gold. :D

First I would donate half the $$ to completely revamp the education system in my state. I would also pay off ours and our kids mortgages and student loans. Then I would buy one of everything in the apple store and iPads for every student in our district. Lastly I would upgrade all my photog equipment and spend a few years traveling the world taking pictures. Oh and last but not least, set aside enough tuition so the grandbabies can attend any college they choose.

I would go insane - I'd be riding an elephant down main street with a viking helm on drinking liquor from a skull swinging a bag full of squirrels yelling at people.

I would hire someone to read me the imore.com website in different funny voices for each article/comment.
and build a house out of ipads......yeah.....that would be sweet!

Make iSteves.
R&D fund for imissiles.
And sue all farmers for selling apples.
Or just put the whole money in a savings account that doubles the amount after 5 years just to mess with the bank.
Knowing me, i would probably spend them all on buying every app in appstore. :p
Hello FarmVille microtransaction.

Considering that bringing all that cash into the U.S. will cost about $20 billion in taxes, I'd take $10+ billion and donate 20+ million iPads to the high schools willing to switch to all digital textbooks. I'd do the same the following year for K-8 and again the next year for college/university. Then it's about supplying replacements forever.
Apple gets tax breaks and the learning/working processes of an entire country's future population entwined with their products.

Well Tim COok is already matching employees charity donations. I agree, they should give it to eduacators and get their products into the hands of students and then they will have instant consumers for life. Then keep R&D for revolutionary products.

I will buy a beach to surf on and the rest give it to imore.com so they can change their name one more time.
As long as you give me 97 imore bucks!

I’d continue to carry out Jobs’ vision of going “Thermo-Nuclear War” against Android/Google, I mean literally Thermo-Nuclear War!!! I’d use those billions to amass the largest, most deadly army in the world. Apple will have weapons of mass destruction so deadly it’ll have North Korea shaking in their boots.
How will I test these weapons, and train this army you ask? Build my own islands just like they did in Dubai! It’ll be right off the coast of California (and they’ll be shaped just like apples of course). Then when the army is ready, we’re taking Android engineers hostage, and keeping them as Prisoners of War! Next, I'll use Siri to launch the weapons & destroy Google offices worldwide. They will be wiped off the face of the earth & replaced with Apple retail stores. And if any Android OEM’s continue to use Android on their phones, they’ll be wiped out next!
With the Android threat eliminated, this definitely changes everything! I'll convert the former Google HQ in Mountain View into my own personal money bin. It'll be so huge even Scrooge McDuck will be jealous. I'll live out the rest of my life in retirement playing golf & swimming in my money bin. Ohhhhh Yeahhh :)

Invest in R&D, develope iPad 3 and iPhone 5. Then work on the computer screen holograms from minority report.

I would actually donate $89 BILLION to a-better-world.org, $5 Billion to my fellow Sri Lankan's, $1 Billion to my School/Church and $1 Billion for friends and family.

As a public school teacher in the US, and experiencing firsthand the truly sorry state of the entire institution, adding in the possibly disastrous effects on the future of this country and it's global competitiveness, as well as its own infrastructure, I honestly can say I wouldn't feel an ounce of hesitation to give away $95 billion, invest the rest for myself and my family, and live happily ever after; hopefully.

Buy out Apple and make a badass iPhone. And share with all the other iPhone lovers of course.

Buy the country of Canada (or any country for that matter). Then rename it to Apple 'obviously'. The Presdient will be the CEO, of course. Then name all of it's cities after the different codenames for the iDevices. There. Thanks iMore!

I would give a dividend to investors and make a significant purchase in the education sector. Maybe a textbook publisher! And use a good chunk to subsidize iPads for public schools.

I would turn the Apple campus into Apple shaped buildings and give out free iPhones to every visitor to the campus until I ran out of 97 billion.

I would sponsor Kevin to be Chairman and CEO of RIM, Phil Nickinson CEO for all Android's companies..Rene as President of USA...and yeah! Ashley my personal news reader every day! (not just Monday).

I would give all the people out of work, to work. I would make sure not a single child goes without food or clothing. I would make sure all homeless people, had homes, food, money, work. I would start with helping the American people first and then go out to the world and do the same thing.

Bring the 700,000 factory jobs back to the US and invest in trade schools to get more engineers. Then I would ask Siri on a date.

Definitely buy google! Then you'll have more money and then revolutionize the world with even greater devices like the itable, icar, irocket, ihouse, ETC.

Vertical manufacturing, dude! I would use it to make sure all the reasons high tech is all manufactured elsewhere go away. Education, factories and transportation systems between them. If Apple's purchasing power was used for creating the systems where they can build, not just buy, they and the USA would be winners.

Do what Steve Jobs said...sue Google for stealing the entire IPhone idea for android. Then take the money and put it into the next big thing.

With 97 Billion dollars, I would donate to those that are in need particularly children (and prove it to the world by actually showing on the news of the progress, etc.) And make at least a country go from rags to riches. Seriously how cool would it be to see something like that? To change just 1 persons life is amazing, but for a whole country? (Just as long as they are not as powerful as the United States of America!!!)

Throw money at poor people and Pay my way into Jony Ives prototype lab and get myself a iPhone 5,iPad 3 and and 50" Apple TV

Build the best LTE network in the world, include radios in all future iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and MacBooks (hell, why not the entire product line?) and offer iCloud Air, a contract free worldwide data service available exclusively to idevice and Mac users. A constant, always on connection with no roaming charges, a truly unlimited option, and multiple devices for the same price.
This would destroy the carrier based model, and Android along with it. Apple wins, consumers win, AT&T, Verizon, Google, Samsung, Motorola and others all lose.

With that kinda scratch I would buy several small nations and arm them to the teeth (also help them in other ways I guess....) and just see what happens! Although the first thing I would do is buy iPhones for all my technologically ignorant friends who still carry androids!

I would continue working, and get elected the Union President at my employer, just so I could have fun with the managers!! :)

I would put 97 million americans back to work and buy and destroy any company that is moving jobs over seas

I would spend every last penny on the best minds and resources out there to accelerate innovation and secure Apple's position as the world's most exciting and profitable company. Probably this would require the purchase of a number of companies (like Nuance for instance)...

Buy myself the presidency of the united states of America and run everything according to the majority of the people's vote. So I can get all the stupid people who run this country into real jobs.

i would hire the best engineers in the world and have them create the ironman suit and instead of having Jarvis in there, i would have siri integrated into the suit.

Buy an entire country and force everyone into slavery for Apple. That, or buying the best employees from other companies and find out what they are doing.

I would invest in a state of the art manufacturing facility I the us and make all of the apple hardware in house and also contract services to manufacture for anybody. Also develop siri to have artificial intelligence and build robots and cars that fly and drive them selves exo skeletons that help the paralyzed walk..... I can keep this up all night.....

Buy up all the Google stock I could so as to become the controlling shareholder...then promptly hand over the reigns to Apple. But only after first paying off my crushing student loan debt and mortgage.

I will buy all the available mobile patents and close all the competitors(android) for iPhone and make iPhone " The only smart phone in the world" ...

i woul love to win the contest! i would invest in mobile nation Tipb and take over the world of tech!!

Put it into R&D to bring webOS-like UI to the iPhone and iPad! And MAKE A DANG Touchstone-like magnetic charger already, Apple!!

I'd buys a bunch of badass stuff, give my friends a bunch of money, and stimulate the nipples of the economy with my large amount of money, and then live off tax write offs for life.

I'd spend it on technological advancements that would keep Apple well ahead of the competition far into the future. And I would also buy or heavily invest in companies that supply Apple with components and/or raw materials to manufacture our products, and of course cut off the competition from those supply chains. Haha!

Make sure that every school child in America has access to an iPad or Mac at school with teachers trained to use them. Then we would need to see about supporting arts education with better funding.

I would give 50 billion to charity. Then I will candidate for president and use the rest of the money to improve people's life in my country Bulgaria. I think that will give me way more pleasure than chicks and wine. Not to mention that chicks will wait in line if I do this. Of course this is not the point, just a little advantage :D

Invest the money in better work invoriment for the people that makes apple products, what will help a lot of people and make apple look good so they can make even more money

Work with many high schools and colleges to increase technology. Give students new technology to become innovative.

I would 2 things with this money... First I would take half and do what AT&T owes us for all these years and actually fix their service signals to allow us to make calls on our iPhones
And
With the second half I would buy Greece just because we could and turn the Parthanon into an Apple store.

I would open my own company like AT&T for the iPhone and also lower the price for the iPhone so everyone could afford it this will totally kill the competition...

Build new tech factories in the US. Give iBucks to tech schools to train workers to work in new tech factories. Bribe new tech factory workers to pretend they have work ethics like the US had during WWII. Then working hard might become a fad and wearing jeans that stay above your waist might become the "in thing" too. Should I continue?

Create my own wireless company. And stop selling the iPhone on other carriers. That way I control the end to end experience.

Apple could use the money to bring manufacturing to the US. Todays scathing article on employee abuses as foxxcon will damage some of Apple good PR. Apple could increase public favor by creating jobs in the US with world class employee conditions.

Apple should spend its $97B on it's own space station. Those space stations are mostly all white anyway; they look just like giant iPods. In space, no one can hear your secrets.

I would have better discounts on Apple products so that they can get into more hands. Like schools and non profits that don't have the money to buy Apple products but, could really benefit from using them. And with the products getting into more hands means more revenue for Apple from iTunes and the Mac App Store.

Am I the only one who saw $97 billion and the [Giveaway] in the title and froze for just a fraction of a second?
A cold chance in hell and wishful thinking, I know.
Anyway, I would hope they build a life-size version of JJ Abrams' Star Trek Enterprise. After all, they did say that the bridge did look like a futuristic Apple Store.
Live long and prosper, iMore!

I'd build the freakin Space Elevator (est $20 million. Figure double that for government work.) and start building orbital habitats. Man was meant for the stars!

They need to release integrated 50inch and 32 inch Apple TV's. with the A5 cpu, 1080p resolution and audio reciever all built in and subsidize the price a bit to keep it at $1000 for the 32 inch and $2000 for th 50 inch.

I would use part of it ($9.99) to buy the app I won on iMore.com that I never received. The other $96.999 billion would be divided up between a few friends and family.

This economy is sick! Companies should not accumulate cash.
Also, as big as it is, it's lower than the value of some of the cited companies.
Crazy.
I'm afraid soon this money will turn into smoke

First, I would buy a plane. Then, I would plan many small trips where I take with me a million dollars in singles. I would then skydive naked while releasing the money, so anyone who needed it would just have to catch as much as they can.

I would take half of it and donate it to charity (Who needs 97 billion dollars anyway, I mean really...) Put a quarter in the bank and invest a quarter of it.I would then take a small chunk(a couple billion dollars) and buy a mansion in the New York countryside.

OK, this is a multi part, multi step answer and there is some math involved. I’ll try to be as concise as possible.
In a nutshell, use it as a springboard to acquiring the next $100 billion. Now, all you benevolent types don’t go away mad, read on. First I’ll outline how, and then I’ll outline why.
According to some Nielsen report I found on the net, in the summer of 2011, US mobile phone penetration was 100%. That’s one for every man, woman, and child. Feature phones accounted for 60% and smartphones only 40%. Of the smartphones, 30% were iPhones, 40% android, and 30% were something else.
So if I was Apple, I would want to know why, of 100 phones being carried around the mall at any given time, only 12 are iPhones. (16 are androids, 12 something else, and heck, 60 aren’t even smartphones)
Why? Here’s an idea: Ask those 88 people why.
How? Well, here’s another idea.
I’m kinda a busy guy. Like busy trying to survive. I generally do not participate in surveys because I don’t see me getting anything out of it, I’m not really sure my input is being heard, and my spare minutes are valuable to me. But what if …
What if, every month, Apple put out a short survey, yes/no, true/false, rate it 1 – 5, questions asking those 88 peeps “Why”?
What if the last question was a little deeper? Something that requires a short, but thoughtful essay to answer.
Let’s make them submitable, on paper to limit the responses to the truly committed, in person or by snail mail, to one of our 250 Apple retail stores nationwide.
Let’s hire someone, at each store, to manage just this process, read them, and pick that stores monthly essay winner. Salary and overhead, $150K a year.
Award the monthly winner $4000 in Apple Gift Cards, that comes to about $50K a year.
$200K a year times 250 stores: $50 million. A nickel for each $100 bill in the Apple Piggy bank.
What does Apple get? A lot of publicity, many good PR opportunities, and 3000 winning essay answers to “Why”?
Now, for you benevolent types. Four years goes by. Apple makes that next $100 billion and perfects this survey process. Then they change the question to “What”?
“What can Apple do with some of $200 billion to benefit society (which will also benefit Apple shareholders in the long run)?
What If …..?
OR, Apple could just fold their hand, give the $100 billion to the federal government right now …
And reduce THIS YEAR’S federal deficit by about 7%

First - I would buy my own island, because that is just my ultimate dream. Then - I would give free iPhones to everyone. This would get them hooked on Apple, and then I'd make even more money when the next iPhone came out.

I will buy all other Phone manufacturing companies and then only Apple phones will be available in the market, so that the whole world has no choice but to buy only Apple phones. Then this 97 billion dollar investment will return in future as trillions of dollars!

I would buy out Google,Facebook,Twitter,Oracle,IBM ,Microsoft, some banks,petrol funds, car companies and all web servers world wide in order to gain control over the world and target 7 bln people with personalized ads , anc charge them with various stuff.
I would have to invest all the 97$ bln into something first though, given that I guess I would need at least 1-2$ trillions, to buy out all of the above companies and things.

Bring manufacturing back to the U.S. without increased pricing for purchasers and work with developers to make sure apps are universally accessible.

I would invent a Worldwide iDevice Carrier to fix the weakest link in the Customer voice/data experience with their iConnected Apple Devices!

I would purchase Google and any related Android patents and make a rap video showing Tim Cook and the rest of the higher level Apple exec's burning android documents/patents to the tune of Big Tymers "Get your roll on"

1st - Take a 4 month (at least) leave of absence from my work.
2nd - Buy a home in Calgary, Alberta and wherever else I would like to live in the world. As well buy my parents/in-laws whatever house they would like and give them a billion each.
3rd - give $500,000,000.00 to all my brothers/sisters on my side and my wife's side of the family to do what the hell the want with (that should be enough money).
4th - Set up a trust fund for my son, my son's kids, my son's son's kids of a billion per child to a maximum of 2 children (this is based on my current dependent situation).
5th - Put 1 billion towards stock options
6th - Buy whatever the "F" I want up to 1 billion dollars.
7th - Let my wife by whatever the "F" she wants up to 2 billion dollars
:)
8th - Buy my local NHL hockey team (Calgary Flames worth $203 million)
9th - Buy the Pittsburgh Steelers (worth $880 million)
10th - Buy the Los Angeles Lakers (worth $643 million)
11th - Try to start up the Space Program again.
12th - Give a billion towards Cancer, MS, Lou-Garrick's Disease, HIV/AIDS, and whatever other research there is on account they actually have find a cure or they have to pay me back with interest over the years they don't find the cure (because it's taking too damn long if you ask me).
13th - donate a billion to new fuel research and a billion to environmental efforts of whoever.
14th - Do whatever I want with the rest of the 23 billion I have left!!!
Hmmm 97 billion is a lot of money me thinks... :)

I would hire people to create my own personal iPhone, and with custom Siri so it could pronounce my girlfriend's name right. -_____-

I would buy out my neighbors places and move my kids (adults now) there. Not very original, but I could use the extra room for all the iPads and entertainment stuff I would buy with the rest of the money.

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I would buy 14,451,836 highest end highest end iMacs (currently priced at $6711.95) and give the to the top 14,451,836 people who give the best time, if you know what I mean.

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