Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook greets customers at the opening of the new Apple Carnegie Library store in Washington, 11 May 2019.
Joshua Roberts Reuters
Apple & # 39; s research and development spending has risen from $ 1 billion in 2009 to an expected $ 13 billion this year, excluding share-based compensation, according to a Thursday report from Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan.
The amount of money spent on R&D in Cupertino shows that Apple is spending a lot of money to fend off new technologies that could threaten its dominance on smartphones and tablets, as well as invest in technologies that enhance the iPhone can help creator in new product categories, such as wearables, fitness and health.
"The patents around wearables suggest that Apple could focus on AirPods with biometric sensors, Apple Watch with UV monitoring, gesture recognition for AR / VR applications, machine learning projects to drive autonomously and integration of various existing devices with a car possible "according to the note.
The analysts say that investors are focusing on the "apparent lack of constant innovation at Apple," but believe that Apple is investing appropriately in new product categories.
"When the iPhone (once in a generation product) becomes the basis for comparison, everything else, no matter how successful, seems incremental," the analysts write.
Apple's huge scale can also mask how large some of its smaller product lines are.
"The wearables business in just 4 years is the size of a fortune 200 company with [estimated] $ 15 billion in sales (comparable to Netflix, Paypal, etc.), but the huge size of the $ 155 billion iPhone in 2018 (similar to General Motors) does not put an end to the rapid growth of relatively smaller companies, " Mohan.
Apple had granted 2,160 patents in 2018, 3% less than in 2017, according to research by IFI Claims. Eight companies had granted more patents in that year, including Samsung, Qualcomm, Microsoft and IBM, who were in the lead with 9,100 patents granted in 2018.