CHARTS OF THE WEEK: Apple's Massive Pile Of Cash In Context

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CHART OF THE DAY: Total Cash & ST Investments Of Tech Companies

  • iPod Touch Is Apple’s Sleeper Hit
  • AOL Ad Revenue Expected To Be Slightly Less Horrible
  • Apple’s Giant Pile Of Cash In Context
  • Apple Dominates Smartphone Growth In Q4
  • Facebook Catching Up To Google And Yahoo As Your Home On The Web

iPod Touch Is Apple's Sleeper Hit

While Apple's iPhone has been a runaway hit, the iPod touch remains a stealthy success story.

It's easy to follow cumulative iPhone sales by Apple's quarterly reports. But while Apple doesn't typically break out iPod sales by type, it often gives hints, which can help us track iPod touch sales.

The most recent: During Steve Jobs' iPad unveiling last week, he revealed that Apple had sold 75 million iPhones and iPod touches so far. Apple sold 42.5 million iPhones through the end of 2009, which could have reached around 44 million by the end of January. This suggests iPod touch sales could be up to 31 million by the end of January.

Twice last year, Apple gave more concrete information about iPod touch sales. Since then, it's clear that while the iPhone has grown faster over the past year, the iPod touch has continued to sell well. (During the December quarter, for instance, iPhone shipments grew 100% year-over-year to 8.7 million, while iPod touch shipments grew slower; 55% year-over-year, Apple said.)

Bottom line: It's obvious that the iPod touch has been a huge driver for Apple's iPhone OS, its mobile apps ecosystem, and app sales -- especially games. So why don't Palm and Google's Android partners offer inexpensive, no-contract, iPod touch-like devices yet?

AOL Ad Revenues Expected To Be Slightly Less Horrible

AOL reports earnings tomorrow and it's expected to be another ugly quarter. Revenues are going to be down for the sixteenth straight quarter.

Mark Mahaney at Citi expects ad revenue to fall 14% on a year-over-year basis. It sounds bad, but the good news is that it's less awful than previous quarters.

In fact, it will be the best quarter from an ad revenue perspective in a year.

Apple's Giant Pile Of Cash In Context

Apple isn't the only tech company stuffed to the gills with cash, with $39.8 billion in cash and short and long term securities.

Google has $24.6 billion in cash and investments. Microsoft has billions more than Google, with $40.4 billion. Intel has $18.9 billion on hand, which, by these standards, is paltry.

As Microsoft, Apple, and Google go to war in mobile, search, and on the desktop, expect to see more of this cash deployed through acquisitions. (And one of these days, one of these companies may actually buy something big.)

Apple Dominates Smartphone Growth In Q4

Apple's worldwide iPhone shipments grew by 98% in the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis, giving its market share a nice bump, according to new data from IDC.

The iPhone's marketshare went to 16% last quarter from 11% in the year-ago quarter, while rivals Research In Motion and Nokia were basically flat.

Notably, smartphone pioneer Palm is absent from IDC's data. Maybe the addition of Verizon will give it a boost this quarter.

Facebook Catching Up To Google And Yahoo As Your Home On The Web

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