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Everyone’s just waiting to see what Apple does with its money

Image: getty images

Not everything’s perfect with Wall Street and Apple. The iPhone maker (which also makes a lot of other things) sold fewer iPhones over the last three months than analysts and investors would have hoped, the company revealed in an earnings call Tuesday.

They also pretty much met analysts’ expectations for revenue: $52.9 billion.

So there’s little reason to jump up and down with enthusiasm about Apple on the NASDAQ trading floor. And yet, Apple remains the kingpin when it comes to money and value in the tech industry, and if you listen to Apple CEO Tim Cook, you may have faith that Apple’s status as one of the world’s richest companies isn’t changing anytime soon.

"We are proud to report a strong March quarter, with revenue growth accelerating from the December quarter and continued robust demand for iPhone 7 Plus,” Cook said in a statement.

He highlighted new products that have excited Apple’s fanbase, at least, and he pointed to a growing area of their revenue services, which includes revenue from iTunes, iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Care and other sales from the App Store.

“We’ve seen great customer response to both models of the new iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and we’re thrilled with the strong momentum of our Services business, with our highest revenue ever for a 13-week quarter," Cook’s statement continued.

And lastly, Cook teased Apple’s "exciting" event in the near future.

"Looking ahead, we are excited to welcome attendees from around the world to our annual Worldwide Developers Conference next month in San Jose," he said.

Facebook, a competitor in the tech industry but with a very different business model, held its developer conference last month and pushed a future of augmented reality and virtual reality. Apple may paint a similar picture.

Apple has a lot of money. This quarter, the company reported $52.9 billion in revenue. Here’s a good tweet showing the growth:

This chest of money is from a wealth of products, but most significantly, iPhones, which it sold 50.8 million of over the last three months. It also sold 8.92 million iPads and 4.2 million Macs. Other than devices, Apple also pulls in money from the services, referenced above. That segment totaled $7.04 billion. As Cook likes to boast, Apple’s services business is reaching the status of a Fortune 100 company.

So the question is how will Apple continue to make so much money and what will it do with its current wealth?

The Wall Street Journal made a fun interactive about what Apple could buy this week, with companies like Twitter and Snap considered:

Apple’s cash hoard: a quarter of a trillion dollars. What to do with all that money? https://t.co/Z9KpmmO4yo pic.twitter.com/TguU7TodQp

— WSJ Tech (@WSJTech) May 1, 2017

To address the fact that it has so much money, Apple increased its capital-return program for shareholders by $50 billion. (Their cash on hand is more than $250 billion). President Donald Trump’s tax plan could affect what decisions Apple makes in the future.

"It’s difficult for us to speculate what might or might not happen," said Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer.

For now, our only hints from the call with investors with what Apple will be investing in is new, lucrative markets. Apple has prioritized India, one of the world’s largest smartphone markets.