Apple held a shareholders meeting yesterday in which Jobs reportedly defended the company’s $40 billion cash.
As per Apple protocol, journalists were not allowed inside the meeting, although a few quotes and various information from the meeting leaked. Not surprisingly, many of the details that did surface were from iPhone-toting shareholders in attendance.
Perhaps one of the most interesting quotes to come out of the meeting was Jobs’ insistence that Apple was holding onto its cash in order to take “big, bold risks,” as if the iPad, which is set to release in March, wasn’t enough of a risk. Apple invested monumental resources in that product’s development, and critics of the device note that tablets have yet to prove they’re a viable device category with a broad set of use cases.
Jobs was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that its cash would “come in handy” for future acquisitions. In other reports, Jobs took a “no comment” on an iPhone for Verizon Wireless, and CNN Money reported that Apple will open 25 new stores in China over the next two years.
At the end of the meeting, Apple shareholders reportedly re-elected Jobs and Apple’s board of directors, which includes former Vice President Al Gore, Genentech Chairman Arthur Levinson and Avon Products CEO Andrea Jung.