Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
4/8/2010
12:15 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Apple R&D Impact Trounces Intel's, Cisco's, & Microsoft's

Based on R&D spending over the past four years, Apple ($4.6 billion) has been massively outspent by Microsoft ($31 billion, or 7x), Cisco ($19 billion, or 4x), and Intel ($23 billion, or 5x). But over that same period, Apple has blown away those companies in financial performance and set remarkable standards for ROI on R&D.

Based on R&D spending over the past four years, Apple ($4.6 billion) has been massively outspent by Microsoft ($31 billion, or 7x), Cisco ($19 billion, or 4x), and Intel ($23 billion, or 5x). But over that same period, Apple has blown away those companies in financial performance and set remarkable standards for ROI on R&D.From a seekingalpha.com blog post by Stephen Rosenman:

Apple is getting a lot for its R&D buck, humbling other large tech companies. AAPL spent a total of $4.6 billion over the last four years. Were those dollars well spent? Revenue in 2006 was $25 billion. In 2009, sales climbed to $43 billion. Its market cap, has tripled over the since the start of 2006.

So from Rosenman's blog post, here are the 4-year revenue gains for each of those companies, preceded by its 4-year R&D investment:

*Apple: $4.6 billion R&D investment, revenue from $25 billion to $43 billion, up 72%

*Microsoft: $31 billion R&D investment, revenue from $44 billion to $58 billion, up 32%

*Cisco: $19 billion R&D investment, revenue from $28 billion to $36 billion, up 25%

*Intel: $23 billion R&D investment, revenue flat at $35 billion

We all hear a great deal-and rightfully so-about the genius of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and COO Tim Cook is beginning to receive his due acknowledgements. But given the astonishing numbers above, it's worth highlighting some of the extraordinary people behind Apple's R&D machine:

*Scott Forstall, senior VP, iPhone software

*Jonathan Ive, senior VP, industrial design

*Bob Mansfield, senior VP, Mac hardware engineering

*Mark Papermaster, senior VP, devices hardware engineering

*Bertrand Serlet, senior VP, software engineering

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