The new iPad, which went on sale March 16th, has sold three million units worldwide in its first three days on the market. It blows away what the previous iterations of the iPad accomplished in their first days, though those two saw much more limited day-one releases. That’s saying nothing about how three million units sold in three days stacks up against what every other tablet on the market to date has managed to accomplish. Like it or not, you can’t argue with the fact that right now, in the tablet market, Apple is unquestioned king.
With that status comes dollars – billions of them. CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that, and made an announcement about what, exactly, Apple would be doing with that cash. One thing is that, in a long-awaited move, Apple will begin to offer a dividend on their stock. Starting July 1st, Apple shareholders will receive $2.65 per share of stock every quarter. That’s not a staggering amount, but it’s fairly decent for an initial dividend offering.
Additionally, Apple will begin buying back shares of its own stock later this year. The gist of the announcement was that Apple is currently so flush with cash that they can easily afford to buy back shares, offer a dividend, and still make ample investments in R&D and acquisitions. Fair enough.
Apple estimates that over the next three years, they will invest $45 billion in their dividend and stock repurchasing programs, a number that is very difficult to conceptualize.
The take home message? Apple is a juggernaut right now, and it is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down.