Apple ramps up R&D spending

“As rumors swirl about new Apple products that may be on the way, one thing is for sure: The company is doubling down on R&D,” Julia Love reports for The Mercury News.

“The Cupertino-based company has shifted research and development into overdrive this year, spending $1.6 billion in the third quarter, up 36 percent from the same period last year,” Love reports. “At this rate, Apple’s spending will be up 60 percent year-over-year by the fourth quarter, according to a Morgan Stanley report released this week.”

Love reports, “Coming four years after Apple last entered a new product category with the iPad, the spike in R&D spending suggests that Apple has much more in store than a new version of one of its signature devices, analysts say.”

Read more in the full article here.

7 Comments

  1. I wonder if this has anything to do with the other article: “Apple has no shame in pushing back product deadlines.”

    Could the lack of R&D (or wrong focus) be the reason Apple is missing product deadlines? Perhaps Tim Cook is focused on the wrong goals.

  2. Its not the product everyone is holding their breath for, but one day when Apple delivers a Super-A ARM processor MacBook Air in the $500-700 range (high quality, high margin, and Intel mid-range competitive), it would spell the end of both Microsoft’s and Intel’s reigns.

    Consumers, schools and many businesses would switch to high quality Macs in droves, once software caught up. (Which with Apple’s control of developer tools would be very fast.) And Apple would have the design freedom to make MacBook Air’s thinner (meh), even lighter (good!), longer battery life (yay!) and integrate in new hardware features on chip that other laptop makers cannot keep up with. (Touch ID, etc.)

    A really powerful AppleTV capable of whole-room video FaceTimeing with multiple friends while playing console gaming and other kinds of new apps would be great too.

    1. Not going to happen. Apple doesn’t have the technology or capability to compete with Intel. Apple has no fab. Intel’s fabs are two years ahead of any fab that can make an ARM device for Apple. And, to boot, the ARM is nowhere near the performance of Intel’s desktop processors.
      Anybody who thinks an Apple ARM can compete in terms of performance with Intel desktop devices doesn’t have a clue.

      1. As someone who has designed a RISC chip can tell you, I have a clue. There is no reason why ARM designs can’t best Intel designs down the road. Intel actually has a disadvantage in terms of supporting an ancient instruction set.

        But you are correct that getting access to the latest fab technology would be the key. Perhaps Apple can get Intel to let them use their fabs one day, as Intel is losing marketshare and giving Apple special status would not harm Intel’s other chip sales as nobody but Apple would get access to Apple’s chips.

          1. Intel is not reigning in mobile or growing in PCs and Apple is not going to stop with desktop class A-chips going into phones and tablets. At some point they are going to have to make a deal with Apple or continue to lose share on both design and fab levels.

            Apple’s fab business would return Intel to the largest producer of processors again, and would not be the first time for Intel to radically change.

            Intel has to do something. Their shareholders will pressure management and eventually replace management if they don’t find a better way forward than their current trajectory toward less relevance and slow growth.

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