Apple R&D Expenses by Year: FY 1990 – 2019

The below graph represents the yearly distribution of Apple's research and development expenses, starting from fiscal 1990 to 2019. Interestingly, the company's R&D spending increased an appreciable 13.9% YoY during the fiscal 2019, to an all-time high of $16,217 million, globally. That's nearly 6.23% of total revenue Apple generated during the whole year.

More Actionable Insights

The above graph represents Apple R&D expenses by year, and the percentage of total revenue the company spends on R&D. The company’s spending on research and development activities has been increasing by each passing year. In fiscal 2019, Apple spent nearly 6.2% of its total annual revenue on R&D activities, amounting to $16,217 million – the highest-ever till date. That’s an impressive 13.9% YoY increase from FY 2018 when Apple research and development spending clocked $14,236 million worldwide. The growth in 2019 R&D spending was primarily driven by the increased headcount-related expenses, infrastructure-related costs and material costs to support expanded R&D activities.

Surge in Apple R&D Spending: History

RegionWorldwide
SourceApple’s official ReportsSEC Filings
Graph ID491
NoteApple fiscal year starts from October

In fiscal 1992, the Cupertino giant spent about $602 million on research and development activities – that’s accounted for 8.5% of its total revenue. One must note that it was the highest-ever share of revenue the company spent on R&D in its history.

Fiscal 2008 was the first time when Apple’s research and development expenditures surpassed the $1-billion milestone. The company’s investment in research and development increased from just $782 million in fiscal 2007 to a whopping $1.1 billion in fiscal 2008, representing 41.8% YoY growth. This was the highest-ever year-over-year growth recorded in Apple R&D expenses in history.

On the other hand, in fiscal 1998, Apple reported a huge 37.5% YoY decline in its research and development expenditures, which totalled $303 million – the lowest in the history of Apple.

It is important to note that in fiscal 2016, Apple’s total yearly spending on research and development operations totalled over $10-billion for the first time. During Oct-Sep 2016, the Cupertino giant spent nearly $1.978 billion more amount than the previous year.

About Apple Inc: Additional Information

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was founded on April 1, 1976, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. The company is popularly known for its line of smartphones called iPhones. Apart from iPhones, the Cupertino giant develops and sells iPad, Macbooks, iPod, Apple Watches, Apple TV, HomePod, and some other online services.

Apple’s first product was Apple I, a desktop computer that was designed and hand-built entirely by Steve Wozniak.

On December 12, 1980, Apple went public, by selling 4.6 million shares at $22 per share.

On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the first generation of iPhone at the Macworld 2007 convention, in San Francisco. However, it was launched on June 29th in the United States, at the price of $499 for the 4GB model and $599 for the 8 GB model. After the initial hiccups, the worldwide sales of iPhone skyrocketed from fiscal Q4 2008, when Apple recorded nearly 9X jump in the sales of the iPhone.

After 10 years, in September 2017, Apple Inc. celebrated its 10th anniversary of iPhone by launching its most-expensive, most-innovative iPhone X, along with iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

With a brand value of $205.5 billion, Apple tops the list of World’s Most Valuable Brands 2019 by Forbes, for the ninth year in a row.


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