Apple Gets Big Bang for Its R&D Buck

The Wall Street Journal Business Technology Blog reports that Apple spent $844 million on research and development in 2007, significantly less than competitors Microsoft, IBM, H-P, Sun, and AMD. This is interesting because everybody and their brother has been touting Apple as a uniquely innovative company.

I think Apple succeeds so prolifically because it is especially focused on innovation in its core competencies. Lots of its competitors invest in research that doesn't make the same impact on their product lines as Apple's research does on Apple's products.

I think people have a tendency to criticize Apple for the wrong reasons. A lot of people complained about Apple delaying the release of OS X Leopard, and waiting until recently to release the iPhone SDK. Could they have shipped those products faster if they hired more engineers?

I'm not sure, but I would love Apple's R&D productivity if I owned the stock. I ought to have my head examined for not buying it before they shipped the iPhone....