Buried deep in Apple’s uneventful earnings report last week was one piece of information that might hint at what could be an eventful fall for the iPhone maker.
In the past quarter, Apple spent $1.6 billion on research and development, which is the most the company has ever spent on R&D in a single quarter. Moreover, at 4.28% the R&D intensity, i.e. the ratio between the company’s revenue and R&D expenditure, was higher than it has been in the past 8 years. The last time Apple spent more than 4% of its revenue on research and development was in fiscal year 2006, shortly before Apple’s most innovative product thus far, the iPhone, was unveiled.
Despite being perceived as one of the most innovative companies in the world, Apple has been known to be a relatively modest R&D spender. Google, for example, spent $2.2 billion on R&D in the past quarter, which equals almost 15% of the company’s revenue.
Whether it’s the new iPhone, the long-rumoured iWatch or something entirely different, the increase of R&D expenditure suggests that Apple isn’t done innovating yet and many people will be eagerly waiting to see what comes next out of Jony Ive’s highly secretive lab.
This chart shows how much money Apple spends on research and development relative to its revenue.
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