“In the 12 hours since Apple’s announced investment in Uber’s main Chinese rival, commentators have struggled to figure out why,” Brian Solomon writes for Forbes. “None of these explanations fully explain Apple’s huge, seemingly out-of-character bet made in ‘lightning speed’ after meeting the Didi team in person just a few weeks ago. No, the most likely reason is that such bets may no longer be out of character for Apple.”

“Apple’s investors have long wondered why Apple isn’t putting its cash pile to better use. Other than the $3 billion Beats deal in 2014–which was as much for the streaming music technology as anything–Apple has largely stayed out of the investments game even as their profits piled up,” Solomon writes. “neither dividends nor buybacks help Apple acquire growth (which is why shareholders have taken their cash to Facebook and Amazon).”

“If you can invest in Didi, why not Airbnb? Pinterest for a social network play? Dropbox to complement iCloud?” Solomon writes. “Moving into startup investing marks a major turning point for Apple. It also opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It certainly does.

I’ve always wanted to own and control the primary technology in everything we do. — Steve Jobs

SEE ALSO:
Tim Cook to visit Beijing with $1 billion in goodwill – May 13, 2015
Why Apple is really investing $1 billion in Didi, China’s version of Uber – May 13, 2016
Uber CEO responds to Apple’s $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing – May 13, 2016
Things to know about China’s Didi, Apple’s latest $1 billion investment – May 13, 2016
Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing – May 12, 2016
Apple’s battle with China offers a stark reminder of geopolitical risks – May 11, 2016
Apple’s Tim Cook to visit China for high-level government meetings later this month – May 6, 2016
Apple CEO Cook ‘pretty confident’ of soon resuming movie and book sales in China – May 3, 2016
The New Yorker: What Apple has to fear from China – April 30, 2016
China’s increasing censorship hits Apple, but Apple might punch back – April 22, 2016
China shutters Apple’s online book and movie services – April 22, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]