Apple and its R&D

How much does the world's most valuable company that gave us the Mac, iPod, iPhone and the iPad spend on Research & Development? TUAW has some plots for the answer. Its common knowledge that Apple does not spend that much money in R&D compared to many of its competitors, but even then looking at the numbers through these charts emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity even for dollars! 

A couple of charts that are of more interest, in this post are the R&D cost v/s sales number plot and the comparison of R&D expenditure of Apple with other companies. The first plot below shows how Apple's sales is outpacing its R&D expenditure. Now that says something about the efficiency of the Apple R&D team.

Another interesting data point to look at is how much Apple spends on R&D as a percentage of its net sales. Here we see that this percentage has actually gone down in recent years, though this is more a reflection of Apple’s astronomical revenue growth during that same time period.
— TUAW
Apple's R&D expenditure as a % of Net Sales (Source - TUAW)

Apple's R&D expenditure as a % of Net Sales (Source - TUAW)

The next interesting plot shows how other companies fare in their R&D expenditure compared to Apple's. And you will be surprised to find out that though Apple is the most valuable company in the world, it has 44 other companies ahead of it, outspending it in R&D! There are the usual suspects like Microsoft and Google that outspend Apple in R&D. And looks like Samsung is not just spending crazy money in Marketing but also for R&D, it is the second in the list! But look at the number 22nd in the list, its Nokia, that spend around $5 billion in 2013 in R&D. I am not sure that makes sense to me, particularly when Nokia's entire phone business is only valued at $7.2 billion dollars! That is how much Microsoft bought Nokia's phone business for [The Verge].

Comparing Apple's R&D with other companies' (via TUAW)

Comparing Apple's R&D with other companies' (via TUAW)