Today in Connected Consumer

For all the equity value Steve Jobs delivered to owners of Apple stock over the years, Jobs himself was never particularly solicitous toward shareholders. He hoarded cash, eventually accumulating a bankroll of nearly $100 billion, and imperiously refused to placate calls for Apple to return some of it to shareholders through a dividend or stock repurchase program. And for years, shareholders largely accepted their low yield on that cash as the price of genius. With Jobs gone, however, Apple’s new leader, Tim Cook, is starting to behave like a mere mortal CEO. This morning the company announced it will for the first time begin paying a quarterly dividend of $2.65 share and will spend up to $10 billion buying back Apple shares. While some complained the $45 billion cash-dispersal was too small, sending Apple shares down briefly after the announcement, the stock rebounded smartly and was up nearly 11 percent in midday trading. The more interesting question about Apple, though, may be whether acting more like other companies in catering to Wall Street will make it less like Apple. Tim Cook insisted Monday that won’t happen but the Rubicon may already have been crossed.

Apple: No dividend & we’re not buying Greece

At its annual shareholder meeting today in Cupertino, Calif., Apple did not reveal much of anything new. While it was CEO Tim Cook’s first such meeting since taking over as CEO, the biggest news was what didn’t happen: there was no dividend for shareholders announced.