Apple now has more money than the U.S. government

Aug 1, 2011
Finance

Get ready for a shudder-inducing statistic: Apple currently has $75.876 billion in cash on-hand after its raucously successful third quarter. And the U.S. government has $73.768 billion. TechCrunch has the story, which states that Apple has come from being near default just 15 years ago (that’s only 1996!) and now has more real money than […]

Get ready for a shudder-inducing statistic: Apple currently has $75.876 billion in cash on-hand after its raucously successful third quarter.

And the U.S. government has $73.768 billion.

TechCrunch has the story, which states that Apple has come from being near default just 15 years ago (that’s only 1996!) and now has more real money than the U.S. government. At least partially to blame is the record-breaking success Apple enjoyed during the third quarter of 2011, in which it pulled down better than $28 billion in revenue and moved 29 million iOS devices, including 9.25 million iPads. Just about the rest were iPhones, which drove the lion’s share of Apple’s revenue gains.

And while that statistic about the U.S. government is compelling, it’s not 100-percent accurate. The $73.8 billion is what the government has on-hand before it hits that debt ceiling thing we’ve been hearing about and has to borrow more money; the real gross domestic product of the U.S., the value of what the U.S. produces as a nation, is actually in excess of $14 trillion.

It does mean that Apple is in pretty great shape and could definitely go forward with that whole Hulu acquisition that was rumored a few days back. There are lots of other companies Apple could gobble up if it decided to do so, although who knows what it actually plans to do with all that extra cash.

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Apple’s stock popped up to $400 a share last week, TechCrunch reported, although it fell back down to around $390 right afterward. There’s only one publicly traded company more valuable than Apple right now, and that’s Exxon, an oil company. And in fact, while Apple’s market cap is around $365 billion, Exxon’s is falling as its stock drops hard, pulling the company’s cap to beneath $400 billion. It might not be too long before Apple surpasses it in overall value.

All this money talk doesn’t really amount to much, except that Apple is doing well and has an incentive to continue to do well. So expect the company to keep harping on what works and trying to come up with devices that set trends – new iPhones, iPods and iPads that can keep it at the top of the heap as far as competition and pulling down record revenues. Apple expects a bit of a drop in its revenue in Q4 2011 as it launches new products – likely the iPhone 5, possibly the iPad 3. Expect both to heartily add to the company’s overall worth, however.

Maybe before long, Apple will buy an island and declare itself its own country.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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