Apple Named World’s Most Innovative Company in 2012 by Booz & Co

Cupertino now spends a lot more on R&D, but still far less than any of its competitors

For the third year in a row, Apple Inc. has been named the world’s most innovative company by analysts at Booz & Co. The study also found that Apple, for all its impressive earnings, continues to spend a lot less than its rivals on research and development.

Booz & Co says Apple not only topped the rankings again - as it did last year, and the year before - “it [actually] increased its lead substantially.”

“The company — which in August 2012 became the most valuable in history, measured by market capitalization — was named by almost 80 percent of respondents as one of the three most innovative companies in the world, up from 70 percent last year,” Booz and Co. says.

The management consulting firm uses its Global Innovation 1000 study to demonstrate that “it is not how much companies spend on research and development that determines success — what really matters is how those R&D funds are invested in talent, process, and tools.”

And Apple continues to be the only company in the world who knows how to juggle all these elements to amass insane profits, while churning up new products in a fast-paced manner.

The analysts at Booz & Co. are careful to point out that “Apple’s unchallenged position comes in a year marked by the death of the company’s founder and chairman, Steve Jobs, and by the absence of any truly new product introductions.”

It also reveals that while Apple remains a careful spender on R&D, the company’s expenses in this department have nearly doubled over the past three years.

Apple now spends roughly US $2.4 billion / €1.88 billion annually on research and development, but “still spends just 2.2 percent of its sales on its innovation efforts, well below the average of 6.5 percent for the computing and electronics sector,” Booz & Co. points out.

Despite being one of the tech industry's sales leaders last year, "Apple’s absolute R&D spend ranks only 16th within its industry and 53rd overall within the Global Innovation 1000,” according to the white-paper.

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