What does Apple get for $10 billion of R&D?

“Apple seems to have some big things cooking up,” Dan Gallagher reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Whether they are big enough is the $10 billion question.”

“That’s how much Apple spent in research and development for the fiscal year ended Sept 24. It is an eye-popping sum, greater than the annual revenue of about 43% of the companies on the S&P 500 roster. It is also a 25% increase from the previous year,” Gallagher reports. “Still, all things are relative for the world’s largest company. Apple’s R&D spending was less than 5% of its total revenue for the year. That is the lowest by far among the 10 largest tech companies by market cap.”

“To be sure, simply throwing money around doesn’t guarantee innovation,” Gallagher reports. “Still, $10 billion shows some fairly sizable bets on the table. Apple can easily afford more.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple gets more bang for their R&D buck than any of the other top 10 tech companies.

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have.” — Steve Jobs

When the Macintosh was introduced, IBM was spending 100 times more on R&D than Apple.

We have the strongest pipeline that we’ve ever had and we’re really confident about the things in it. But as usual, we’re not going to talk about what’s ahead.Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 25, 2016

Analysts: Apple’s innovation will pay off… eventually – October 26, 2016
A radically different Apple looms; R&D reveals the company’s largest pivot yet is coming – May 11, 2016
Apple’s massive R&D expenditure indicates myriad projects in the pipeline – April 27, 2016
Apple gets much more bang for its R&D buck than Google and other tech companies – November 30, 2015
Massive R&D increase suggests Apple is working on something huge – May 4, 2015


    1. Can 10 Billion get a decent mail program and better updates than the 1/2 ass updates they have given pages and numbers. Googles’ Docs and Sheets is way ahead of Apple’s cloud docs. Apple was way late to the game on this.

      How about allocating some of that 10B toward educational software/hardware. Went to back to school night and all everybody talked about was Google classroom and chromebooks.

      What about a proper search to find apps in the app store? Still can’t do a basic search under specific categories. What a joke. Amazon I can scale down a search for products until I find exactly what I need. I have gone to the app store so many times knowing that software was out there but leaving empty handed b/c of the completely asinine way to search for things. Why can’t I search within specific categories. Developers must be pissed at the lack of support they get from apple in presenting their programs.

      Last rant on the 10B list is iCloud memory. Google Drive and Amazon give it away for free, but Uncle Tim feels that even for cloud based storage apple users need to pay a premium.

      Double lastly Apple, don’t leave your “core” users in the back of the bus. Spend some extra cheddar on keeping the power mac users happy, they are the ones that are the creative types that Apple initially courted.

    1. If nothing else, surely you’ve heard of a minor thing called the A10 chip? You know, the mobile chip that outperforms most of the ultrabooks on the market? Just wait until you see the A10x ……

      1. yes i have heard of the A10 chip..and rumors of the 10x…..
        is that it..? if so.. there is no future for Apple as the company it is..
        let it become a chip designer and manufacturer…
        but thats not what Apple is all about ? is it.?

        yup A10 is fast ….but then what… where is a Pro operationg system and software( besides small snippet of apps ) that complete the package and makes it shine.

        Apple is losing their loyal high end performance user faster than they are aware of and that will hurt the brand in a massive way !

  1. The get a lazy, worthless, incompetent CEO who hires and manages others just like him that milk their shrinking customers base for all they’re worth, while watching others innovate and ignoring their professional Mac users.

  2. I can tell you what they don’t get, a Mac Pro!


    $10 billion a year for research and development and you can’t put together a team that says, “let’s work on designing a box with a bunch of ports of various kinds, slots for various cards that would allow users to switch in and out different capabilities of their own choosing, upgrade memory, hard drives, etc. and do so in a way that would allow the user to create something they really wanted because it was customizable AND would run MAC OS-X. DUH!”

    No, $10 BILLION DOLLARS IN R&D couldn’t possibly buy you that much research and development! That’s asking FAR TOO MUCH. That’s like asking someone to design the space shuttle! NO WAY could someone design a BOX with those capabilities. IMPOSSIBLE!

    1. you’re describing a hackintosh.. no wonder so many people are building them. you can make it exactly how you want. there’s a bazillion people posting their builds on tonymac.. and its a lot of work to post a build, so I imagine the number is actually much larger.

  3. I’ll tell you what you don’t get — an Apple-branded display.
    Granted, LG probably would have made the panels anyway, but I’d prefer an Apple-braneded display.

    Can Innovate, My Ass

  4. If I hear Timmy say, “We have exciting things in the pipeline” one more time (see virtually every earnings conference call since he took over), I think my head will explode. Evolutionary, maybe. Exciting? When was the last time a product introduction at Apple was truly exciting? Even the watch was ho-hum. I’d just excited if the could get Siri to work right!

    1. Agree. That line is growing old. Crying wolf too many times.

      The AppleTV announcement was interesting. I would say though that it is only on par with the Xfinity experience since you can search for contents across any channel and on-demand. Also no DVR capability so only relying on stuff that is available at the time.

      As with many things Apple the first iteration is a taste of the future.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.