Tech corporations spend billions of dollars each year on research and development (R&D). Without this, they cannot create new innovative devices: in the case of Apple, the company simply would not release new iPhones every year. At the same time, Apple spends less on research and development than its main competitors , both in dollars and as a percentage of revenue. And at the same time it remains a fairly advanced company that develops new technologies. However, the company is now spending much more on these goals than before Tim Cook took the helm.
How much Apple spends on research
Apple has spent $ 4.8 billion on research and development, according to Apple's second-quarter financial report for this year ( see it here ). That's 8% of the tech giant's total revenue for the quarter.
Compare that to Microsoft, which spent $ 5.2 billion in the April-June quarter on research and development, which accounted for 13.6% of the corporation's total revenue for that period. And Google's parent company, Alphabet, has spent $ 6.2 billion , or 15.9% of its revenue, on R&D.
Another way companies develop new technologies is to buy startups with ready-made developers and ideas. But according to Bernstein analyst Tony Sacconagi, Apple has spent only 2% of its cash flow since 2012 on mergers and acquisitions – that is, buying other companies.
The combination of low R&D spending and few mergers and acquisitions suggests that Apple may still not be investing enough in innovation compared to its competitors, the analyst wrote in his investor report last Tuesday.
In fact, Apple's R&D spending has gone up significantly since Steve Jobs ran the company. In the second quarter of 2011, when Jobs was still CEO, the company spent just $ 628 million on research and development, which was 2% of total revenue. And there, by the way, was the development of iPad with Retina display, new MacBook Pro and many other devices.
Since then, spending in this category has grown steadily. For example, in the second quarter of 2015, Apple invested $ 2 billion in research and development, or 4% of its revenue. The company is now spending twice as much.
Может ли недавний рост расходов Apple на НИОКР предвещать появление новых продуктов? Трудно сказать. Но явно прослеживается потенциал в огромных расходах Apple (60 миллиардов долларов за последние 5 лет) и в том, что компания сосредоточена на новых технологиях. Например, умных очках Apple Glass .
What Apple spends money on
While Apple announces on a quarterly basis how much it spends on research and development, it does not reveal exactly what it is doing with all those billions. Of course, a significant portion goes to the development of future versions of the iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and other well-known products.
But the company has other projects that it tries to talk about as little as possible.
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We are aware of some of them. For example, Apple cannot completely hide that it is working on self-driving car technology . And there are a lot of rumors about augmented reality glasses. Analysts say they will appear in 2022, but according to one source, the glasses will show in 2021.
Both of these projects definitely take money away for R&D. And what we do not know yet is difficult to imagine. But with all this, Apple somehow manages to spend less than its competitors.