Of course the shareholders own the company - i.e. a SHARE of it - so they do own the cash Apple have in the bank. The question is that is down to the board to run the company and decide what to do with that cash - their whole remit is to maximise shareholder value. Of course if a board goes too far against the wishes of the majority of the shareholders they can be replaced.
The Apple board had decided to grow the cash pile - but really these days it's getting so huge they really do need to do something with it. The options would be nothing (continue as they are), share buy backs, dividends or spend it (i.e. buy another company or companies).
The last thing shareholders want to do is force the board into spending it - all too often in history boards have bought other companies - but paid too much = poor value for shareholders. $100bn+ cash (as it probably is now) or even if they had to spend more could pretty much buy almost any other tech company out there - it's not as if they are not good for a loan.
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