Apple’s Conundrum: What to Do With Those Profits

Matt Yglesias:

When you’re sitting on tens of billions of dollars, the sky is really the limit. But Apple CEO Tim Cook has mainly used the cash for dividends and share buybacks. That is a bit boring. And it’s especially disappointing because when they’re not in defensive mode, Apple fans are happy to acknowledge that not everything is perfect. Launching an independent mapping service was a necessary strategic move, for example, but Apple does not have the best mapping data in the world. Developers feel that iCloud has lots of problems. You can buy NBA League Pass Broadband to watch NBA games on your Apple TV, but the package doesn’t include playoff games because exclusive rights have been sold to TNT and ESPN. None of these are crippling flaws in the Apple ecosystem, but they are flaws. And as a customer, I’d rather see Apple address those flaws than give money to shareholders. What’s more, as a shareholder I’d rather see Apple address those flaws than give money to shareholders. Profits are great, but they should be used to do great things.

This is a much more interesting argument. What if they dropped a few billion to get the NFL Sunday Ticket on Apple TV? Why not outbid the TV networks so that they can show NBA and MLB postseason games?

β˜… Wednesday, 29 May 2013

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