Home > Digital, Strategy > R & D spending to perceived innovation. Is Apple the best?

R & D spending to perceived innovation. Is Apple the best?

For the third year in a row, Apple has been voted most innovative company in the world by R&D professionals. In the survey, conducted by Booz & Company, almost 80 percent of the respondents named Apple as one of the three most innovative companies in the world. Google is a distant second with 43 percent of the respondents naming the search engine provider in their top three. This result comes at a time when many are starting to wonder whether Apple has lost its magical innovative touch. Although the company recently updated its entire product range, people are missing revolutionary new features from the company that re-imagined the mobile phone with the iPhone.

What’s interesting is the fact that Apple has the lowest R&D intensity (the ratio of R&D investments to a company’s sales) of all companies in the top ten. In fiscal 2011, Apple spent 2.2 percent of sales ($2.4 billion) on research and development. Google and Microsoft, two of Apples main competitors, each invested more than 10 percent of sales in R&D. Overall there is surprisingly little correlation between R&D expenditure and perceived innovativeness. Only three of the top ten R&D spenders in 2011 made the list of most innovative companies as perceived by the industry experts.

This chart shows a ranking of the most innovative companies in the world, based on a survey among 700 high-level R&D professionals.


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