Apple's announced quarterly dividend of $2.65 will be amply financed from ongoing domestic operations and will not diminish the company's current cash holdings of over $100 billion. Apple is currently generating cash at the rate of over $1 billion per week. The annual dividend, at the announced rate, will require an annual cash distribution of just over $10 billion based on an estimated 950 million fully diluted shares by the September quarter.
Similarly, the $10 billion in share repurchases over three years can be amply financed over that time from domestic operations. These announcements represent plans for use of cash from ongoing operations rather than use of the company's current holdings of cash and marketable securities.
The share buyback is intended to neutralize the impact of future share dilution from stock-based compensation rather than as a move to diminish the number of shares currently outstanding.
The impact of the reinstatement of a regular quarterly dividend is that it will open the floodgates of investment in Apple by conservative mutual funds and institutions that restrict investment to equities that pay a regular dividend.The anticipated rise in the share price and the company's market value from the resumption of a quarterly dividend program due to the increase in share demand by conservative funds and institutions (as well as small investors who prefer dividend paying stocks) will be far greater than the amount of cash distributed annually through the dividend program.
Disclosure: I am long AAPL.