The expected smartwatch will be the first brand-new product line unveiled under Apple’s chief, Tim Cook, who took the helm from Steve Jobs nearly three years ago. (AP Photo)
The expected smartwatch will be the first brand-new product line unveiled under Apple’s chief, Tim Cook, who took the helm from Steve Jobs nearly three years ago. (AP Photo)
Apple CEO Tim Cook (AP Photo)

(USA Today) – Apple’s printing money hand over fist. You knew that. What you may not know is that Apple has so much dough, it could afford to pay every man, woman and child in the U.S. $556. Each.

Selling high-priced hardware – over and over again – is creating a wealth-making machine like the world has never seen. Apple has now amassed a record pile of cash and investments of nearly $178 billion. That’s enough to give every American $556, a fact pointed out by Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

This massive pile of wealth is generated by the company’s ability to get consumers to line up every two years to sign up for costly contracts for high-priced phones. This business model, which keeps the total cost of the hardware itself largely masked to consumers, helped Apple report a bigger profit than the world has even seen in the fourth quarter of $18 billion.

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