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As a percentage of revenue, Apple’s R&D spending is the highest it’s ever been

As shown in Apple’s SEC 8-K filing, Apple’s R&D spending increased by over 25% year-over-year in its latest fiscal quarter to $2.56 billion. As a percentage of revenue (at 6%) it’s the highest it’s ever been. It’s spent $7.5 billion on research for the year, and is on track to outpace last year’s spend, according to its earnings statement.

During a call with analysts and media reps about Apple’s latest financials, CEO Tim Cook was asked about the amount of R&D spending on new products rather than refining existing products. He wouldn’t specify an exact number, he did state that there was “quite a bit” of investment in new products and services.

As noted by Quartz, Apple is now spending more on research than most major car companies, and only a little less than companies like Google and Facebook, “both of which are building drones, and working on other zany, expensive projects, like household robots, internet-beaming weather balloons, and virtual reality.” 

Much of that money is likely being spent on the much-rumored Apple Car. Apple is also likely investing heavily into virtual reality/augmented reality. 

“AR can be really great. And we’re—we have been and continue to invest a lot in this,” Cook said. “We are high on AR for the long run. We think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.”

And, of course, hopefully a lot of that R&D money will also mean some really innovative Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs coming our way.

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.