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back to article Apple puts less of its takings into R&D, hires more sales cultists

Apple funnelled an extra billion dollars into research and development in 2012, but as a percentage of its takings in the last year, the spend on R&D actually went down. The iPhone maker spent $3.4bn on boffinry in the past twelve months, which is 2.18 per cent of its $156bn revenue for the year ended 29 September. In 2011, $2. …

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they putting less in to R&D? when was the last thing that was new was from Apple? Good % of stuff apple claims they came up with was some others idea and apple stole it or bought it.

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Anonymous Coward

I think everyone knows that innovation tends to happen at start ups. They put out new ideas that seem whacky to the bigwigs at large companies. So they end up having to go it alone and end up having their ideas copied by the bigwigs who turned them down.

Dyson and Hoover for example.

So why spend much money on innovation when you can let someone else do that and then copy the idea with a different more successful take on the idea. That's what Samsung and others have been doing for years.

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Bronze badge

Apple is good at marketing. Someone needs to be.

The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, but it was the first one that mainstream users actually wanted to use. Because Apple was the first company to take the user interface seriously, rather than seeing it as something bolted on at the last moment to the "interesting" bits of functionality underneath.

That's Apple in a nutshell. While other tech companies say "Yeah, great function! Now stick an interface on and ship it!", Apple *starts* from the interface and works down from there.

And - who'd've thunk it - turns out, that's what a lot of people actually want.

You don't have to be a card-carrying Jobsfanboi to acknowledge that Apple, and Jobs in particular, have made an enormous difference to how we view and use technology. And they did it by focusing their engineering, not at the 1s and 0s and the silicon and the discs, but at The User.

That's - well, many companies would call it marketing.

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FAIL

More Leach stupidity

You can only grow your R&D division so fast (you need brains, not trained monkeys, it takes time to recruit and integrate them into the company). Only the most rabid of haters could find a way of twisting a near 50% increase in the R&D budget as a cut.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More Leach stupidity

Nobody said it was a cut, just that it is still pitifully low compared to what their rivals spend doing that thing called innovation instead of stealing others work and then putting pretty boxes around it.

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Stop

Re: More Leach stupidity

What part of the headline "Apple puts less of its takings into R&D, hires more sales cultists" DOESN'T make it out to be a cut?

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Re: More Leach stupidity

Because as a PERCENTAGE of takings, that's exactly what is happening. Stupid too. Apple has so much momentum and cachet as a brand that their products practically sell themselves. Why spend money on salesmen?

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Stop

Re: More Leach stupidity

If it included words like percentage, fraction etc in the headline then I could accept that. Where are they?

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Re: More Leach stupidity

And if it included the word 'cut', you would've had a point. Reg has many misleading headlines. This ain't one of 'em.

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Headmaster

Re: More Leach stupidity

The headline, in case you missed it is

APPLE PUTS LESS OF ITS TAKINGS INTO R&D, HIRES MORE SALES CULTISTS

In 2011, $2.4bn was spent on research and development

[Apple] spent $3.4bn on boffinry in [2012]

If the headline said "smaller proportion" it would be accurate. But it doesn't. It says LESS. $3.4bn is not less than $2.4bn.

Numbers eh, so confusing.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple has never done any R&D

By the standards of Silicon valley, Apple has never done any R&D. They consider "R&D" to be looking at data sheets from chip makers, display makers, etc. Not actually developing new technology.

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Re: Apple has never done any R&D

You mean, they take existing technology and package it so it's compelling and attractive and do work instead on the user experience/user interface so that people are drawn to their products?

You imply that there is something wrong with this approach and that everyone should be pushing forward the boundaries of science. Is that not a little narrow-minded? Even allowing for the fact that you personally aren't interested in their products.

Fuck, I'm bored with this

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FAIL

Re: Re: Apple has never done any R&D

It wouldn't be a problem if APPL hadn't gone around claiming they personally invented everything from the wheel to roasted bread, and suing everyone else for using "their" technology.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple has never done any R&D

Apple does Design, which is neither R nor D.

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Bronze badge

Re: Apple has never done any R&D

Yes, but Silicon Valley's idea of a great R&D company is Google.

That's how we end up with such triumphant offerings as Google Answers, Buzz, Wave, Knol - remember Knol? - which thousands of people waste years of their lives on, before they vanish into the sinkhole of justly forgotten apps.

Apple focuses on doing one thing - user interfaces - well. When it tries to broaden its competencies and re-implement things that others have already done, that's when you get Apple Maps. When it takes an existing idea and works exclusively on making it easier to use - well, that's when you get the iPod.

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Re: Apple has never done any R&D

Actually no. Apple focuses on one kind of user interfaces, the "panel of buttons" one. They added stopgap solutions to it, so you can still have it, despite of the limitations of mobile devices.

Apple, and to be frank everyone else in the industry, has stopped exploring new ways of making user interfaces. It's a pity that they never moved on beyond the Newton. Apple currently has no offering for users actually working with computers. Unfortunately Apple has even lowered the standards for the industry.

Do what Apple does is making "panel of buttons" interfaces more accessible for "idiots". That wouldn't be bad by itself, if only those "idiots" would stop claiming they are the crown of creation.

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Anonymous Coward

Buy AAPL on the dips.

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Anonymous Coward

tenuous, headline-driven, bad logic...?

yes, you've heard of them

"Apple funnelled an extra billion dollars into research and development in 2012, but as a percentage of its takings in the last year, the spend on R&D actually went down.

The iPhone maker spent $3.4bn on boffinry in the past twelve months"

(disclaimer: not an Apple fan, but also not a fan of sensationalist crap journalism either)

Where does it say that the % spend on R&D has to rise in line with profits every year?

Where does it say that % rise R&D spend is constant every year?

Why is it impossible to believe that other business costs (sales, marketing, ,,,) will rise disproportionally in some years depending on the business or economic cycle?

I'm bored with The Register

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Re: tenuous, headline-driven, bad logic...?

>Where does it say that the % spend on R&D has to rise in line with profits every year?

It doesn't. It's easier to ramp up production - and thus profits - than it is to suddenly spend more on R&D.

'Design' as 'form engineering' takes man-hours and resources to research and develop, just as a new car or microprocessor does.

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Anonymous Coward

Silly Statistic

It doesn't cost any more to do R&D if you sell one of your product or if you sell 100,000,000 of them. The fact that Apple's sales (and hence revenue and profit) have grown doesn't make it any harder to make their products. A more useful comparison would be R&D per product / service, on which basis I suspect Apple would be shown to have increased it's R&D, and would also likely be much higher than the R&D-per-product of any of the other companies listed.

But then, it's not Reg-worthy news if it hasn't got an anti-Apple spin, is it?

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Thumb Down

Maybe they just stopped giving new hires bogus projects to do.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/30/apples-secrecy-extends-to-putting-new-employees-on-fake-projects/

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Anonymous Coward

So part of Apple's R&D budget is weeding out spies?

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Or..

>So part of Apple's R&D budget is weeding out spies?

Whilst at the same time giving new engineers practice on something that isn't crucial, yet might just yield some data that is useful in the future. Not every avenue that people research is expected to be immediately useful- that's why its called research.

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WTF?

Hmmm

So Apple has decided to follow the HP model. I'm sure that'll work out differently this time.

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Anonymous Coward

Lawyers

They don't come cheap...

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Anonymous Coward

Apple doesn't need to put money in Research.

They have a deal with Microsoft that lets the two companies use eachothers research. They can just pick and choose whatever Microsoft comes up with.

Wait for tiles on the IPhone 6 ;-)

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So Apple is going to spend less on research and developing patents. That's good news.

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Who said less on patents? Less actual research more patenting the obvious. It works better than actual research

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Happy

hmmm...

I think I've read something similar to this before

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It's not as if they have many products.

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Not enough

Seems that US companies are as bad as Europeans. When the UK used to innovate, it spent between 10% and 25% of turnover, maybe half the profits on R&D.

If Apple had done that they would be printing the whole of the electronic in the screen, no PCBs and no connectors.

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Holmes

Lol

Yeah, I've discussed this on /. and reddit. I'm tired of retyping the same thing, so I'll just include the link here: http://www.reddit.com/r/talesfromtechsupport/comments/124uj8/the_mouse_that_roared_and_killed_the_it_department/c6seunx. In short, this is the sign that Apple is trading short-term gains for long-term ones.

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Well there's one little fault in your argument

You assume that there will be something called "competition" among different actors on the market, and that some actors would act differently.

That's part of the "free market" ideology. Those people claim that consumers take multiple offers into account and act accordingly. For example, in that ideology nobody would not buy cars from a company which was actively involved in child abduction. In reality, even those opposed to child abduction merrily buy cars from that company, simply because they don't know. There is no such thing as a transparent market. There are always factors which obscure the view of the market.

That's why Nokia was surprised of the success of the N770, that's why people were surprised of the success of the Galaxy Note, that's why Thinkpads ship with Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

How will the fannybois live it down? Apple are not so innovative and their products not so premium/desirable.

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Paris Hilton

Research: Looking for things you already found?

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