Note that the first graph shows research and development as a percentage of revenue (to scale the spending by company, since revenues differ so greatly). This next graphic can help you conceptualize the revenue and R&D gap:
A Few Interesting Notes:
• Now, Microsoft spends about 17% of their revenue on R&D. Sony spends about 8%. Apple spends less than 4%.
• If you were to break down the amount of R&D that goes purely to physical (non-software) products sold by Apple and Sony, Sony would spend about $11.5 million per product while Apple would spend about $78.5 million per product. (Of course, that's rolling the cost OS X and iPhone OS development into Macs and the iPhone, which could be seen as inflating their per product spending.)
• Microsoft just spends a lot of money in R&D, period—about $9 billion this year. In terms of percentage growth over the last decade, Apple's R&D has grown the most (nearly quadrupled) while Sony's has grown the least (not quite doubled).
In light of these bare numbers, is it any surprise that Sony is struggling the most to capture the hearts and minds of a public hungry for gadgets?
Research by David Chaid