If you read the comment’s on the Journal piece, many people say that this is a poor use of capital, that Apple should be investing in research and development rather than its own stock.
The problem is, Apple is in a weird position where it can comfortably do both. They are doing the biggest share buybacks in history and still have hundreds of billions of dollars in retained earnings. It is estimated that Apple spent $150 million creating the original iPhone. Even if the ‘next big thing’ cost a hundred times that much to produce, Apple could still do 10 big things with the capital they have available today.