I think Apple has raised all that money for the sole purpose of….. having a lot of money.
I think that’s it. Apple will continue to prepay for components in order to ensure supply, and it will no doubt continue to invest in production capabilities, but Apple’s ever-growing cash hoard is to ensure the long-term survival and stability of the company. Steve’s greatest aspiration is to build a company that outlives him. Having $76 billion in the bank won’t guarantee it, but it will certainly help.