You'd think the company that's produced several category-creating products would spend a big chunk of its cash on R&D. Take Google, for example, which spent 14 percent of its revenue on R&D in the first nine months of this year. But Apple's not like that. The company only spent 2.2 percent of its revenue in R&D over the last nine months, according to a revealing post at ZDNET. And the trend is consistent: that number has been under 5 percent since 2004.
If you believe R&D spending is important, Apple's layout doesn't look good. On paper, their R&D spend looks more like HP's than HTC's or Microsoft's or Google's. On the other hand, Apple's ability to create new, awesome products is undisputed. You know the old marketing saw, "I know half of my advertising is wasted, but I don't know which half?" Perhaps the same applies to R&D and only Apple has figured out which half to cut.