Apple might not have more money than God (yet), but come the end of this quarter, they are likely to have so much cash flowing from their coffers that, if they had a mind to, they could buy the entire mobile phone industry.
The report by market research firm Asymco uses a few assumptions to get to that conclusion, but they foresee that in roughly two weeks, Apple will have a cash pile of $70 billion.
Right now, that $70 billion is only enough to buy Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola, but given the way Apple’s profit margins have been increasing, it’s possible that five years down the line, Apple could swallow every mobile company out there whole if it wanted to.
Not that that would ever happen. Absorbing so many inefficient, visionless companies would just slow Apple down, and the regulators would cry bloody murder. Still, it’s fascinating to put Apple’s success as a lean, mean smartphone maker in perspective: their empire is built on the back of one phone, and yet could swallow up most of the competition after just five years.