A few years ago Apple was accused of having "too much cash" by a lot of the jokers calling themselves analysts. The reason that's important is that companies buying other companies is considered an acceptable, important, and necessary action to suck out more profit when you've maxed out what your base company can do.
Apple doesn't offer a dividend - so they have to justify that they can re-invest earnings better than you could. By holding money in cash, which, as the anal-ysts contend, just "sits there", you aren't actively re-investing that money, and it should go back out to the consum- I mean shareholder.
Understand where this is going - if enough of that talk builds up, Apple could face a shareholder revolt. It happens. They escape that by being flat out the best at what they do, so all people can do is grumble.
And of course, in what George Soros has called "The end of the World Economic System" Apple's cash reserves had them floating pretty nicely. Until recently they hadn't laid off so much as a janitor. While everyone else is hand-wringing about the lack of credit available, Apple has been getting by ok on all that cash "just sitting there".
A few weeks ago they finally laid off 50 employees - but the truth is it was the "Enterprise" division, which I have to believe Steve Jobs loathes - I won't go into that here since it's not relevant to the article.
But this understanding IS important - companies that don't buy other companies, that don't revolve on credit, that try to actually save money for times like these, are asking for real trouble. Madness, yes, but that's rampant capitalism for ya."