Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Free iPhones!

Two women compare the new iPhone 4 (right) and an iPhone 3 in front of Manhattan's 5th Avenue Apple Store.
Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

It’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” only instead of a closet full of used paper towel tubes it’s a portfolio full of money.

I’m talking about Apple , which is currently sitting on a cash hoard of $76 billion.

Just think what they could buy with that cash: HP , for example, at $72.6 billion. Perhaps Honda, coming in at a cool $72.1 billion. Or heck, while they’re at it, maybe they should just buy Visa : $75.9 billion. Or UPS for $71.6 billion, so they can ship all of their sweet new loot to themselves.

“I chatted with the CFO , and you know, the commentary has changed,” Brian Marshall, an analyst at Gleacher & Company, told me this morning on “Worldwide Exchange.” He said that Apple is looking at uses of cash all across the board, discussing buybacks and maybe even share repurchases. But they have yet to do either.

“My personal view is that we'll probably see them get a little bit more aggressive in the back half of this year with respect to contents, purchases, and getting the rights to show titles both from a rental as well as a streaming and purchase perspective on iTunes,” Marshall said, adding that the latter is going to be increasingly important when they launch iCloud later this year.”

For now, Apple has $81 of cash for every share out there. “They just generate tremendous amounts of cash and they view that as a strategic weapon,” Marshall said.

Weapon or not, I want my free iPhone. I mean, just an idea, Steve-o...think different.

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