Google’s massive cash pile is now bigger than Apple’s

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Apple's been spending cash lately while Google's been hoarding it.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple’s decade-long run as the company with the world’s largest cash pile has finally come to an end.

Financial paperwork filed by Apple and Google’s parent company Alphabet revealed that the search engine giant now has $15 billion more in the bank than the iPhone-maker does.

Thanks in large part to its stock buyback program, Apple’s enormous cash reserves have been shrinking for the last few years. The company hit a peak of $163 billion at the end of 2017. In its latest earnings report, Apple revealed it now has $102 billion.

Alphabet’s cash reserves have been trending upwards during the same time Apple’s have been coming down. With $117 billion in its bank account, Alphabet’s bank account has grown by $20 billion in two years.

Most of Alphabet’s money still comes from Google search ads. Apple is now less dependent on the iPhone for making money though. For the first time since 2012, Apple now makes less than 50% of all its revenues from iPhone sales.

The Financial Times notes that Apple has been spending its cash more aggressively recently. $122 billion has been spent on stock buybacks and dividends over the last 18 months. Meanwhile, Alphabet has spent just over $25 billion in four years. Apple has also been spending its money on acquisitions. It just spent $1 billion for Intel’s modem business and 2200 employees. And of course, there are always rumblings that it could make a major Netflix or Telsa-sized acquisition in the future.