An Apple R&D bonanza

“After a brief lull, Apple’s R&D expenditures are once again exploding higher,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “Apple’s 2Q18 financial guidance implies the company will soon report the largest year-over-year increase in quarterly R&D expense in its history.”

“Management is on track to spend $14 billion on R&D in FY2018, nearly double the amount spent on R&D just four years ago,” Cybart writes. “The dramatic rise in Apple R&D expenditures raises questions regarding the company’s product pipeline and whether management’s overall approach to R&D is changing.”

“Apple’s pace of R&D expenditures is nothing like the company has ever seen. The $14 billion of R&D expense that Apple will spend in FY2018 will be more than the amount Apple spent on R&D from 1998 to 2011,” Cybart writes. “My theory on the dramatic rise in Apple R&D expenditures is that management is becoming more ambitious. Apple’s future is found in new industries. Just as Apple moved from desktops/laptops to personal music players, smartphones, and watches, the company will need to enter new industries to remain relevant.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: May Apple’s R&D investment bear much fruit!


  1. Apple shouldn’t need to spend billions of dollars of R&D to improve the Mac Mini once every couple of years. Basically, user-upgradeable Mac Mini using current off-the-shelf parts would be more than good enough. A solid block of aluminum case is nice but a Mac Mini is a device you really don’t need to make bullet-proof. A door for RAM and a hard drive/SSD would be a nice touch even if it’s made of plastic.

    I’m not saying the current Mac Mini is terrible, but I’m saying it could easily be a lot better. A mini-desktop computer like that doesn’t require a large R&D budget or rocket science. Apple is clearly being lazy or actually doesn’t want the Mac Mini to be competitive with their other products.

    Siri may need all that R&D budget and I think they should spend as much as they need to improve it to keep up with or surpass rival companies’ smart assistants.

  2. You guys commenting below on a topic you know absolutely nothing about, pretending you do, hoping readers find you insightful and intelligent ( which they dont obviously ) just to validate your own sad existence… I feel for you, I really do . Hope life gets better for you all soon.

  3. At a time when worldwide CPU unit sales are in decline, Mac unit sales are growing at a 2.83% rate per annum (six year average). Most recently Mac unit sales grew 4.15% YoY.

    Except for the dozen or so here, that complain about everything, I think Apple is prioritizing projects just fine.

    Certainly significant upgrading of any Mac won’t move the unit sales needle much, if at all.

    1. one can reasonably argue that mac sales are increasing when overall cpu unit sales are decreasing, is for one very good reason; that macs are better than their competitors. always have been.

      unfortunately that is measuring macs against a mighty low standard.

      as one of the “dirty dozen” who frequently carp about macs, we do so because we know that they can be much, much better than they currently are.

      what we are saying is make them as good as they can be, and sales against their competitors will climb accordingly – assuming mr. apple uses some of those billions to advertise the damn things. again.

      desktops still power the business world – not to mention so many of us in the personal computer market – and will continue to do so for quite some time to come.

      make the most of it, own that market, don’t just dabble in it.

  4. The benefit of making lots of profit is that you can afford the research costs needed to stay ahead. Apple is proving that statement to the nth degree. Xiaomi and others with lots of market share and no profit can’t put up numbers like these.

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