Apple CEO: Shareholder lawsuit is 'silly sideshow'
Companies normally don't sit on that much cash, as it's not very productive. They prefer to invest it in their business or give it to shareholders. Einhorn said Apple's cash hoard is a symptom of a defensive, "Depression-era mentality."
Cook rebutted that assertion Tuesday, saying the company invested $10 billion in its business last year, through spending on research and design, equipment and an expansion of its chain of stores. It has also committed to handing out $45 billion to shareholders over three years, through dividends and share buybacks.
Analysts, however, point out that Apple seems to have run out of things to invest in, and the $45 billion commitment is small compared with the company's profits.
Goldman analyst Bill Shope asked Cook about two other hot-button issues: whether Apple would make a cheaper phone and one with a larger screen, both of which rivals have been doing using Google's Android operating system. Cook was as usual evasive about Apple's product plans, preferring to point out that it sells older iPhone models at a reduced price and that there's more to the experience of a screen than its size.
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