Apple’s bulging sack.
Right now Apple is sitting on a mountainous bag of cash. In fact, it contains almost $150,000,000,000 at the last count. And when you’re sat atop such a pile the people looking upwards are naturally going to wonder what your plans are for it.
Some wonder if they might buy one or more PC manufacturer, a social network or just gift every person in the world a few Big Macs. Some more sensible folk suggest it might be worth investing in data for Apple Maps, improving iCloud, buying rights to sports and TV content, or negotiating with the mobile networks to create a better customer experience there.
What do i think Apple should do with this surplus money? How should they ease the tension of those bulging bags? Easy. Make things better for the customer.
While improving the situation with network operators or buying media content are good ideas that I tend to agree with (especially with regards improving the Apple TV offering for international customers), there are a few simpler things that i think Apple could do right now:
A free Newsstand and/or iBooks download for each Apple ID. Or a book/magazine equivalent to the iTunes Store’s Single of the Week. Just something that lets people see how these services work and what they’re like to use. Break down that barrier. Help people get even more from their Apple devices. Music and Apps really need no pushing but, looking at the Homescreens of my friends and family, i think iBooks and Newsstand do.
A better hardware warranty out of the door. Let’s have 2 years as standard and a (cheaper) Applecare that covers that 3rd year. Not only does this win you serious brownie points with customers, it is a hefty kick in the competitor’s gonads. How many other PC and phone manufacturer’s could afford to match this?
More free storage space in iCloud. Currently, when I buy an Apple product i’m gifted 5GB of space in iCloud. If I buy another device I still only have that 5GB of space because i’m just using the same Apple ID. It wouldn’t hurt Apple to give me the 10GB i’m really due, would it? And besides I potentially need that much space just for device backups. So, more iCloud space please. Give customers 5GB on creating an iCloud account and another 5GB for each device used with that ID, including Macs.
Big, immediate gains for the individual customer in return for a very small portion of what’s inside Apple’s money bag.