Apple issued a statement regarding an announcement it will make Monday about discussions on its cash balance. This has led to high expectations that this time it will pay a dividend.

The anticipation is that it will spend around $14 billion of its $98 billion cash pile to pay the dividend.

However, it is notable that Apple’s former chief executive Steve Jobs was hesitant to give back cash to shareholders and so Apple never went for stock buyback or dividend. The path Apple always followed was to reinvest the cash into the business.

Apple's strategy has always been to utilize the cash for acquiring business opportunities and also fund in R&D projects, which could further advance its existing business domains. For instance, Siri Inc. was acquired by Apple in April, 2010.

Tim Cook, the current Chief Executive of Apple might take a path different from Jobs. It appears that this time there's a level degree of optimism among investors that Apple will announce a dividend.

After the announcement of record iPhone sales figures and also the launch of the new iPad, the shares of Apple are already up by 45 percent for this year. It already has a market value of over $500 billion, making it the most valuable company in the world, even besting the Exxon Mobil Corp, whose market value is currently just over $400 billion.

Sales of iPhones and iPad tablet computers have helped Apple report record-breaking earnings. The company's net income for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $13.06 billion -- 36.50 percent higher than the average analyst estimate -- while its revenue during the same period beat the average forecast by $7.3 billion.

Last month, Apple trounced Google Inc. as the most reputable company, as measured by the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, which seeks to quantify corporate reputation for the most visible companies in the United States.

With all the positive news coming together, the prospect that Apple will make its investors very happy this time by paying a rich dividend is certainly high.