With Apple's quarterly earnings report expected at close of day, investors wonder what Apple should do with all its cash. In fact, Carl Icahn has been pushing hard for more stock buyback to drive up share prices. But like the author of today's WSJ article, Farhad Manjoo, I believe that is a short sighted move. As a very small Apple shareholder, I want to see Apple us its funds to remain innovative in a fickle, changing digital marketplace. Manjoo has some great suggestions for other uses of these dollars from building a Google search engine competitor to buying a cellular network. Of his ideas, I like the latter better.
Apple has always prided itself in owning the complete product, hardware and software; the rise of the iPad has meant that introduction of third party apps, but they follow a rigorous approval process. The piece that Apple lacks is the connection between consumer and device. Buying or building a cellular/broadband network to best run its devices, from the Apple TV to the iPhone, would close the loop and prove a complete consumer solution. Consumers need a network that can drive our wireless connectivity and assure our video streams and communication paths get to all our devices. It is why Google is testing out its Google Fiber program in a few markets. And why Apple should be in this space too. A short term rise in the stock price; why bother. I want more innovation and growth.