Apple currently dominates key sectors of the uber-lucrative mobile sphere with its iPad tablet and iPhone handset.
So it comes as little surprise that Cupertino has managed to amass a sizable war chest filled with a whopping $70 billion in cash.
According to Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, the tidy sum is so massive it could be used to buy out mobile rivals Nokia, RIM, HTC and Motorola.
Notable industry heavyweights omitted from the above-mentioned list include Sony Ericsson ($3.0 billion), Samsung ($53 billion) and LG’s phone business ($10 billion).
“As market values of phone vendors continue to decline, Apple’s cash will continue to grow dramatically,” Dediu explained in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider.
“Indeed, a time may soon come when Apple’s cash will be worth more than the entire phone industry.”
Dediu also estimated that at its current valuation, Apple is capable of acquiring every mobile phone vendor with cash alone, except for Samsung.
As AppleInsider’s Katie Marsal pointd out, Cupertino overtook Nokia in terms of profit in late 2009 – just over two years after the company debuted its trend-setting iPhone.
“Since the iPhone appeared, Nokia’s profits dropped from an industry-leading $3.5 billion per quarter to $1.3 billion or less,” wrote Marsal.
“In the last quarter alone, Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones, a record for the company, with sales growing 113 percent year over year. And even with what was said this January to be a 4 percent share of total mobile phone units sold, Apple takes in more than half of the mobile industry’s profits.”