Apple’s R&D spending hasn’t been this high since three years before iPhone launched

“Apple Inc.’s new 10th Anniversary iPhone is still sight unseen, yet a glance at the company’s latest quarterly results also raises the question of what else may be coming,” Dan Gallagher reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Apple’s spending on research and development totaled $2.9 billion for the third fiscal quarter ended July 1, rising 15% year-over-year against a revenue gain of just 7% for the same period,” Gallagher reports. “That brought Apple’s R&D spending to $11.2 billion for the trailing 12 months, which is about 5% of the company’s revenue for the period. Apple hasn’t expended a greater portion of its revenue on R&D on an annual basis since 2004 — three years before the first iPhone launched.”

“That suggests other big things on the horizon, though what exactly is anyone’s guess,” Gallagher reports. “The company is widely reported to be working on projects related to self-driving cars, health-care monitoring and augmented reality, to name just a few.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And satellites. Don’t forget the satellites!

As we wrote in April, “For only about the second or third time since Steve Jobs departed this earthly plane, we’re getting the sense that something wicked this way comes! It may be years out, but, when all is said and done, many Apple naysayers are going to be saying, ‘They’re baaack!‘”

I wish it was just a matter of writing checks. If it was just a matter of spending money, Microsoft would deliver good products. — Steve Jobs, May 10, 2007

Apple in talks to form partnership with Boeing to provide broadband access via constellation of 3,000 satellites – June 15, 2017
Apple + satellites = ? – April 22, 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple hires top Google executives for new hardware team – April 21, 2017
Apple in talks to buy Boeing communications satellites – March 18, 2015
Apple adds former Boeing CFO James Bell to Board of Directors – October 1, 2015
Steve Jobs on R&D: If it was just a matter of spending money, Microsoft would deliver good products – May 11, 2007


  1. As has been pointed out in other articles, the difficulty for Apple is that it’s very hard to introduce cutting edge technology in devices that are going to sell in the tens of millions from day one and where you have to ramp up production at such a massive rate. Their A series chip development has been doubly astounding when you factor in the volume they’re producing. Doing these truly groundbreaking introductions are so much harder at the scale they’re operating at now and that costs money to get right.

    1. You’re entirely correct. It seems analysts and pundits have these ideas of how Apple can ramp up production as fast as manufacturers selling one-tenth the number of units can. It’s just not possible. Apple has to wait until everything is in place. Low yields for tens millions of units isn’t acceptable. I remember the critics dumping on Apple a few years back because Apple didn’t use OLED displays. How is a company going to satisfy the demand for a product it can’t possibly produce enough components for?

      They say Apple moves too slowly. An ocean-liner can’t change direction like a speedboat. Why should Apple even need to do that? Just because some company comes out with something new, why should Apple have to immediately follow them? There are dozens of Android manufacturers Apple would have to copy.

      They keep saying Apple lacks innovation but it’s only the tech-heads who are preoccupied with constant change and not consumers. I can’t say at what pace Apple needs to innovate and I can’t really tell what requires change and what doesn’t. I’d like to see better battery life from mobile products, so I’d want Apple to focus on increasing battery life. I’d like Apple to acquire some battery company and work on that problem. It would be something that could greatly improve all of Apple’s mobile products.

  2. And yet the Mac Pro languished for years & YEARS with lack of Apple attention killing the spirit of it’s high end Mac pro devotees. Shows you Apple can be horribly misguided and negligent to some sectors of their lineup to their ultimate detriment. A company with so much money on hand to easily address all concerns that to not do that is criminal. Certainly at the very least incompetent from the head down. I wish there was a way to flog those responsible so they will never forget their obligation again.

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