Apple's Research and Development Humbles Other Tech Companies

by: Stephen Rosenman

I've written about Apple's productive use of its R&D in the past. ( It's time to revisit that incredible performance in view of the company's continued success at launching new products, iPhones and iPads.

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.

In contrast, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) used $31 billion on research over the same period. Revenue rose from $44 to $58 billion. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) spent $19 billion in R&D since 2006. Sales went from $28 to $36 billion. Intel's R&D (NASDAQ:INTC) cost $23 billion over that time frame. Their revenues were flat over a four year period at $35 billion. Stock prices of those three companies have greatly underperformed AAPL.

Apple's R&D is extraordinarily cost efficient. Other tech companies seem to lack the same "vision" in allocating their R&D budget. One wonders what new products come out of Apple's R&D in 2011 and beyond?

Author's Disclosure: AAPL, INTC, MSFT, CSCO