Apple’s skyrocketing R&D investments explained

“My fellow Foolish colleague Evan Niu recently penned an excellent column discussing Apple’s skyrocketing investments in research and development,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “In a nutshell, even as Apple’s revenue growth has slowed (and, in the case of fiscal year 2016, turned negative), the company has continued to ratchet up its spending on research and development.”

“Now, even though a good chunk of that now quite large research-and-development budget is probably being spent in service of all new product categories that haven’t yet begun to generate revenue (Evan mentions augmented and virtual reality, and self-driving cars as two examples),” Eassa writes, “I believe that a large part of the growth is also spent servicing of the company’s existing product lines.”

“Investors should always expect the costs to develop future versions of existing product lines (e.g., the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch) to gradually rise,” Eassa writes. “That natural inflation in research-and-development spending is driven by several factors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another thing Apple’s always been world class in is generating R&D bang for the buck. We expect some amazing things are percolating at Apple right now!

What does Apple get for $10 billion of R&D? – October 28, 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. Fair enough. How about all price points $1k and up for Macs?

        As it is now, Apple continues to give away the highest performance market to Wintel. Rather stupid to not even try to supply the biggest spenders in the computer business.

        1. It is pathetic to me Apple has surrendered the high-end “PRO” computer market!

          They invented it for chrissake in the 1980s!!! 😡

          Special watch bands, gadget bling and pride parades, fine. But they have the money and resources to get it ALL DONE!

    1. You are going to be surprised in the near future, I think.

      I do not expect to see a retraction from the horde of anonymous haters when that happens. But I hope that you, as a registered user, will acknowledge your excessive negativity when the long anticipated desktop refresh occurs.

      1. Seriously out of touch comment.

        The has been a lot of patience on this site for Apple’s long MacBook Pro/Mac Pro delays, but clearly we are not going to be getting a major MacBook Pro update again any time soon so shortcoming of the current batch are a serious problems for REAL USERS NOW.

        I have been waiting years to upgrade to aging MacBook Pro’s and to get a Mac Pro worthy of its name. But Apple hasn’t shipped anything that would be an upgrade yet.

        The new features, streamlining of ports, etc. are great in my opinion. But Pro’s don’t need thin or even long batter life. They need top of the line computing power.

        In contrast, iPhone’s and iPads are best in performance for their class. Apple’s Pro laptops and desktop are nowhere near that.

  1. “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2012
    “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2013
    “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2014
    “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2015
    “We have exciting things in the pipeline.” – T.Cook 2016
    Tim, check that pipeline! You’ve produced nothing but yawns.

    1. Bullcrap. Lots of great things have been released over the past five years – not at the level of the iPhone or iPad, perhaps, but great nonetheless. The Apple Watch is certainly not a yawner.

      You are entitled to your pessimism, anonymous one. But exaggeration of the situation yields nothing but derision from the informed.

      1. …and, I assume, you are “The Informed.” O Great Oracle Of Outer Libtardia, The Modern Prometheus from The Delphi Of Dumbass! Who is like unto The Melvin? Who is able to make war with him?

        Melvin, I just don’t know what to do with you anymore, you’re in the lost and never to be found.

      2. sorry, Mel, but the last 5 years have seen Apple pivot from a leader to a #2 player in most hardware. Cook wants to be an iCloud vendor, which is a nonstarter for those of us who supported Apple through thick and thin the last 25 years.

    2. tim cook doesn’t articulate a coherent vision for apple’s future, a unifying strategy not just product categories (like in movies where dreaming up sfx first then comes story as a secondary afterthought. I want envision where and how apple revolutionizes our world, makes our lives better, etc (ver difficult for someone with engineering personality).

  2. I repeat:

    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. It is not beyond their abilities, it is a choice to ignore this.

    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. I have to agree with you on that mail program. Here’s my gripe: on my iPhone 6s+, it says “iCloud”. I’ve asked apple support as to why it can’t revert back to my full name. They said they can’t. However, on my wife’s iPhone 6, it has her full name on it. Again, I asked apple support as to why it works on my wife’s phone but not mine. They had no answer. A minor inconvenience, yes. But it just bothers me that I can’t change mine especially given the fact that it was my full name before I upgraded to 6s+.

  3. With the every expanding list of those who have finally come to the conclusion that Tim Cook is a failure, can we now look forward to turning this company over to someone who can actually run it as the innovator it used to be instead of someone who has run it into the ground.

    When M’soft users can point and laugh at us, the time has come for the once great company to get back on course – if it’s not too late.

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