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Apple Spends Only 1/7 on R&D Compared to Google, Microsoft

This is true not only in absolute dollar term but also true as a percentage of revenue

 

[Update September, 2012 - R&D spend data from Dan Lyons's post (figures are R&D spend as a % of revenue

Google - 14%, Microsoft - 14%, Samsung - 6%, Apple - 2%]

 

This is true not only in absolute dollar term but also true as a percentage of revenue. In fact, Microsoft spends more on R&D among all the IT and software companies – in both absolute dollar terms as well as percentage of revenue.

Have a look at the data below. I have picked it up from a post in Infoworld by Ted Samson.

Revenue in billion US$

R&D Budget in billion US$

R&D Budget  as % of Revenue

Microsoft

62.5

8.7

13.92%

Oracle

35.6

4.5

12.64%

Google

29.3

3.7

12.63%

IBM

99.9

6.0

6.01%

Apple

65.2

1.8

2.76%

HP

126.0

3.0

2.38%

It was a surprise to see Oracle so high up in the list but I guess it may be a legacy from Sun. However, what is more surprising is to see Apple and HP spending so less on R&D.

I poked around a little to cross check the validity of the data – it appears indicatively accurate. In fact Microsoft R&D spending may be little understated. (See Microsoft R&D Spending, Comparative R&D Spending and Oracle R&D Spending).

Here is another chart from Business Insider which is based on 2009 data.

So, it would be foolish to write-off Microsoft in mobile. They have a habit of bouncing back and taking the lead after late start. Let us wait and watch where Microsoft will it be in ten years?

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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