Shortly after Apple used a new tax law last year to bring back most of the US$252 billion ($378.9b) it had held abroad, the company said it would buy back US$100b of its stock.

On Tuesday (US time), Apple announced its plans for another major chunk of the money: It will buy back a further US$75b ($112.7b) in stock.

"Our first priority is always looking after the business and making sure we continue to grow and invest," Luca Maestri, Apple's finance chief, said in an interview. "If there is excess cash, then obviously we want to return it to investors."