Apple Doesn't Really Have Several Hundred Billion Dollars In Spare Change

€13 billion doesn't seem much to Apple, but it's actually more than you might think...

Following on from the news that Apple has been ordered to pay an eye-watering €13 billion in unpaid taxes by the European Commission it raises the question: Just how much money does Apple have?

In January the company’s CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple had around $215 billion in reserves.

This, like many of its announcements before, prompted the media to do comparisons to various country GDPs etc (even we’ve done them) and to some extent there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s a helpful and visually clear way of putting across what is ostensibly an unimaginably vast sum of money.

In this instance however it’s actually important to remember that while it does have $215 billion, it’s not just sitting in a bank account waiting to be withdrawn at Apple’s leisure.

Jeremy C Owens of MarketWatch was able to break down Apple’s reserves into its various parts and found some pretty interesting results.

Apple actually only has around $16bn lying around in cash, the rest is almost all stored away in long-term investments.

Another interesting fact courtesy of Owens’ research is that 93 per cent of the $200 billion are in fact stored overseas.

It would cost Apple 40 per cent of that total amount to bring it back to the US, something which it is probably not prepared to do.

Of course all of this could become null a void if Apple and Ireland are able to overturn the decision, something which both seem incredibly confident of doing.

That being said, it’s always interesting to take a look, albeit brief, into a company that’s able to spend $5 billion on its new headquarters.

Best Smartphones To Buy In 2016:

Apple iPhone 7
Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
This is Apple’s best iPhone ever, and if we’re honest it’s one of their most innovative devices yet. It has an incredible camera, is water-resistant and boasts a stunning bright new display. Of course it can’t escape the rumours surrounding next year’s device but if you’re looking to buy a smartphone right now, and Apple are on your radar, this is the phone for you.
Google Pixel
The Huffington Post UK
This is Google’s iPhone. It’s that simple. As such there are achievements and compromises. If you’re after an incredibly well-built, powerful Android flagship, Google have given you a truly five-star smartphone. If you’re a photographer, the Pixel’s camera and cloud storage option make this a no brainer. It's not cheap though, with the XL costing over £800.
OnePlus 3T
The Huffington Post UK
The OnePlus 3T is simply a continuation of the ethos that makes OnePlus phones so good. It’s exceptionally well-built, powerful and offers you everything you could want in an affordable and meaningful package. No smartphone will give you more value for money.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Bloomberg via Getty Images
With a new curved back and larger 5.5-inch display the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge is more about evolution than revolution. The S7 edge now sports a water-resistant body, embedded camera and a MicroSD card slot. The S7 edge is also Samsung's most powerful smartphone yet, so powerful in fact that Samsung have actually had to equip a tiny water-cooling system inside the phone. The good news though is that means you'll never have to worry about getting a warm hand.
Apple iPhone SE
The Huffington Post UK
Incredibly, Apple's familiar-looking iPhone SE manages to boast the same performance as its top-of-the-range iPhone 6s making it the most powerful 4-inch smartphone available. If you're keen to return to the days of one-handed texting then Apple's bite-sized iPhone is the smartphone for you.
The LG G5 sets itself apart from rivals like the S7, Xperia XA and the iPhone 6s by being something utterly unique. The G5 is the first commercial 'modular' phone, allowing you to swap out the bottom for new accessories. So far there's an audio one made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen and a camera-focused attachment which gives you extra camera controls.
Huawei P9
JACK TAYLOR via Getty Images
The Huawei P9 is a smartphone designed for capturing life. Thanks to a partnership with photography legends Leica this dual-lens camera can take pictures that'll put your dedicated camera to shame. Of course it helps that the P9 is also a pretty great Android smartphone as well.
Google Nexus 5X
The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.