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Samsung spent $14 billion for R&D in 2015, Apple climbs to the top 20 with $6 billion

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Samsung spent $14 billion for R&D in 2015, Apple climbs to the top 20 with $6 billion

Samsung has been the world's second-largest R&D spender after Volkswagen for a few years now, and 2015 was no exception, as you can see from the comparison table above. The electronics juggernaut poured the staggering $14.1 billion in research and development of new technologies last year, just shy of Volkswagen's $15.3 billion. The company is trying to diversify away from what was its bread-and-butter profit generator until recently, smartphones, and now they contribute for barely a third of its earnings, with the rest coming from chips, TVs, and the like. In 2014, Samsung spent $13.4 billion on R&D, so last year has seen a nice boost in lab activities around the company. 

In comparison, Apple spent an estimated $6 billion in R&D, which might seem little compared to Samsung, and yet it's a record amount for it, and the company has now climbed in the top 20 of world's research spenders. Some analysts attribute this hike in Cupertino's R&D spending on futuristic projects like the rumored Apple Car, which is one of the avenues that Apple might be exploring in order to eventually diversify from the heavy dependence on the iPhone franchise as its main profit generator.

source: PWC via Weibo

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posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:01 6

1. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Samsung make a vast amount of products though... I even have some resin kitchen worktop materials in front of me made by them, they have to R&D a LOT of stuff!

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:56 9

25. QWERTYphone (Posts: 641; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


If slow people didn't already realize that Apple was a evil company that makes inferior products, just look at the disparity in R&D money spent. Anyone who overpays for an inferior Apple product is clueless.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:01 9

27. Ninetysix (Posts: 2314; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


If slow people didn't already realize that Honda, Hyundai, Kia, etc are evil companies that makes inferior products, just look at the disparity in R&D money spent. Anyone who overpays for an inferior car is clueless.

Do you even drive a VW?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:19 4

29. 14545 (Posts: 1447; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


What are you talking about? In relative terms to marketshare, VW should be spending the most, or close to the most for R&D. They are bouncing between 1 and 2 worldwide. I don't care for them, nor do I own one. But this spending is understandable.

Apple has about 1/3 of the market share worldwide, and makes the most profit/phone. Yet they spend the least on making them the "best". So it is quite the conundrum they have presented.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:57 6

36. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Well let's do some simple math -

Apple R&D spend = $6 billion, number of product lines? 16? 20?

Samsung R&D spend = $14 billion, number of product lines? 100? 200?

It's not even about the amount regardless, there's no breakdown of how the money is spent so it's pretty irrelevant. $2 billion of that could be takeaway dinners and bonuses for the R&D department. Safe to say all the big companies spend a lot on R&D.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 11:31

40. ph00ny (Posts: 1126; Member since: 26 May 2011)


and how much did they spend on buying Beats? 3Bil? Also how many other projects besides actual product items?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:05 2

43. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


And buying Beats would come out of R&D why?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 17:51

71. ph00ny (Posts: 1126; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Tech acquisitions aren't bundled into R&D? That's a news to me

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 21:58

75. joey_sfb (Posts: 5236; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Apple design a product, source components from various suppliers. Low ball them to death. Move those parts to the under privilege sweat shop to make the actual product.

R&D in Apple sense is to pay for the whimp of their designers, very expensive in order to keep those creative juices flowing. They could produce a new design every three years is nothing short of a miracle. Good designer such as Jone Ive are a rare genius and worth every penny Apple is paying him.

posted on 27 Jan 2016, 21:40

79. jalebi2000 (Posts: 172; Member since: 01 Mar 2015)


Yeah, but apple makes 2x the profit that Samsung does off of phones. If Apple has all that spare cash laying around, then why aren't they spending it?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 13:12

55. razmahtaz001 (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 May 2013)


i think apples worldwide maketshare is closer to 1/5 than 2/5 or 1/3

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:53

34. engineer-1701d (Posts: 3208; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


whas kia and hyundai got to do with vw and kia and hyumdai g90 is s class but 30k less look up research and look around you will see ape more hyundai on the road than any other and i drive a audi and that parent company is vw

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:54

35. suavemezie (Posts: 83; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Do a little research, most of the amount spent goes to Audi, which is fast becoming one of the best German made car

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:18 1

44. Unordinary (Posts: 996; Member since: 04 Nov 2015)


LMAO Audi and the rest of German made cars have become a complete joke compared to what they used to be. You're better off buying a German school bus if you're in the market for buying a car that will last.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 11:59

42. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7822; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I would never buy a product from a lying sh!t-faced company like VW.

As far as quality? Hyundai actually makes very good cars if you go with the top end Sonata and higher.

The Civic is equally as good as a Camry, I just personally don't like Honda.

Kia's cars have gotten better too. That one car the Optima is beautiful for its cost and is as good or equal to a Hyundai.

Not all corps are evil. At least the brands you mentioned aren't lying pieces of crap like VW and Apple.

None of those cars are overpriced compared to their competition. They are priced basically the same.

Overpriced cars like Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Acura an similar are all overpriced. A Lexus RS series is nothing more than a glorified Camry with fancier style and options inside. Doesn't justify its roughly $35,000 starting price tag when a maxed out Camry at $30K would land you a simlar car.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 13:14 2

56. TerryTerius (Posts: 1412; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


That doesn't make sense. Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Range Rover, Jaguar, Infiniti, Cadillac, Tesla, and Lexus all directly compete with each other. Granted, Mercedes is trying to compete with Bentley and Rolls-Royce as well but that's another story.

By the same token, they do not directly compete with Ford, Buick, Lincoln, Mini, Subaru, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Mazda, Vauxall, Chevrolet, Toyota, Renault, Peugeot, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, or Volkswagen. Yes they all make cars, but they make cars in a VERY different price bracket's (generally, and barring certain cars like the GT, Corvette, or viper).

If Honda, Kia, Hyundai, etc. are priced the same as their competition, so are the cars made by the luxury manufacturers. Whether or not you personally think they're worth that price is something that is up to you to decide, but they are absolutely priced in line with each other. So overpriced compared to what? A lower market car?

You have to remember that a car being based on a cheaper car's platform does NOT mean it is mechanically identical, nor does it mean they have the same choice of materials, or quality of construction.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 14:49

66. BradyCrack (Posts: 434; Member since: 29 Dec 2015)


Lol it's not even out yet!

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:03

28. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


How many products do Apple make? How many products to Samsung make?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:42 3

32. RoboticEngi (Posts: 545; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)


How much money do apple bleed from their customers and how much innovation do they get back?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:59 1

37. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


I don't see a great deal of fresh innovation in any one high end smartphone vs another, regardless of R&D spend. They're all pretty good at doing the job they're supposed to do. Don't worry too much RoboticEngi, I'm sure Apple users can look after themselves just fine.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:36 1

31. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Apple actually spends a lot since it all goes into tech and nothing else. I I will Apple could at least get on Google's level tho.

I wouldn't consider apple products inferior, Infact I just got an iPhone 6s plus and it's awesome, smoother than my S6 and M8 were.

Since it's been less than 24 since I got the 6s plus I want say it's the best phone i've owned but it's looking that way.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 11:20

39. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


24 Hours*

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:34 1

47. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7822; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Who ever said they were inferior.
When you compare the S to the iPhone where the S starts at $599 vs the iPhone 6S at $649, you can already see how inferiro it is an many departs.

The S should cost $649 while the iPhone should be $599 or less.

Consider 750p vs 1440p, 2GB RAM vs 3/4GB, 12MP crappy camera vs 16MP stella camera, sm batter vs larger, fast charging vs taking nearly 4 hours even with a smaller battery, poor recording sound quality on the iPhone vs better recording quality, closed UI vs open UI where you can store personal files much easier, and share and use nearly any file type you want, a phone with exaggerated market bullcrap vs just simple marketing where the phone speaks for itself.

I am not talking features for ticks on a sheet. I mentioned things that are 100% useful on any phone and yet the iPhone doesn't support them the sam way.

I mean the only benefit to some cloud storage is having those items available from any device. The problem with Apple is, their cloud is only accessible from their products. BS!

This is why Google Services and Microsoft services are killing Apple Services because you can access them with any platform.

The rule of thumb should be, the more limited somethign is, the less it should cost. The product with the least limits should cost more.

Now, having said that; it tends to be the opposite because the options with less limits are used by lots of companies which drives costs down, making limited options more expensive.

The issue with Apple products isn't the products specifically. Its how the software has been done and how it locks you into their system only and makes it hard to use some other options. While MS and Google dont lock you in and they make it easier for you to use other options.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 14:19

60. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 1930; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


My response was to post #24 he said they were inferior. Agree they shouldn't lock you into their services. As far as 1440p you should already know that I don't like QHD(we had a conversation a previous article regarding QHD) So 750p on 4.7 is fine with me, I have the 6s plus so its 1080p for me, which is what I prefer.

I'm loving my 6s plus so far, better than my S6 and that's saying something. ios 9 and 2gb of ram has changed my opinion on ios because I use to hate it.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 16:50

68. Xperia14 (Posts: 302; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


The S6 is just an iPhone but with a better screen. Same featureless phone. No IP, no micro SD, no battery life, no FM, no nothing!

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 17:56 1

72. TerryTerius (Posts: 1412; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


That is categorically untrue.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 18:59

73. Xperia14 (Posts: 302; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


Why? Samsung removed all the features of the S5 to make it as close as possible to an iPhone. But luckily it looks like Samsung will make a comeback with the S7 and adds these features again.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 17:24 1

69. jeroome86 (Posts: 794; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


Actually stats show iPhone users are smarter then Android users.
You can look it up.

posted on 27 Jan 2016, 00:50

76. almostdone (Posts: 231; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Yes that explains why many iPhone users can't operate an Android phone but Android users have no such problem with either platforms.

Smart or stupid?

posted on 27 Jan 2016, 04:52

77. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


That would just indicate the iPhone UI is better designed. Tried fixing my mum's Kindle Fire the other day, clusterf**k of a system that is so I'm buying her an iPad.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:04 14

2. Carlitos (Posts: 495; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Amazing honestly/ And it shows through their vastly superior screens, mobile processors, DDR4 ram, cameras, and the amazing edge design

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:30 6

7. Hyperreal (Posts: 221; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


Design with curved edges, while looking great, is useless for me and even kind of stupid. there are a lot of light reflections on sides of the screen and image is worse visible on the sides. additionally it is uncomfortable to hold such a device. For now I see no practical reason for curved screen. maybe in the future it will be used in a better way.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:49 8

11. TerryTerius (Posts: 1412; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Having used an S6 edge for most of last year, I can assure you that light doesn't really reflect off of the curve unless you are directly underneath the sun during high noon. And honestly, even that is minimal.

Besides, why does it have to be pratical? It looks good, which is reason enough. Attractive design in brand identity is one of the most important facets for any phone manufacturer. I'd wager most people buying a phone in the $500+ price range are going to care as much about aesthetics as they do the actual performance of the phone. That's a general rule for most industries. The higher the price, the more aesthetics and materials matter. That's true for fashion, cars, home appliances, furniture, and consumer electronics too.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:25 1

18. Hyperreal (Posts: 221; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


I also do care about the looks but i think s6 edge is just uncomfortable to hold and whenever i took one to hand i saw a lot of light reflections (where the curve is) and i dont see point of a screen which is worse to look at than a flat one. Its a gimmik. Thats all. Maybe one day they will make a better use of this technology. For now i said no to curved screens. Thats just my opinion.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:47 1

23. Shocky (Posts: 2067; Member since: 16 May 2012)


I only had to use one for a few minutes before seeing light reflections, granted I was in a shop with some bright lights behind me but that could have easily been the sun on a bright day, it was distracting.

The colour shifting was also weird on the Edges, it doesn't match the rest of the display.

Apps being distorted was also a little odd, not sure why you would want this.

Don't get me wrong, the phone looks great and that's why people want them, just don't make excuses for ignoring the issues above.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 10:50

33. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1114; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Owned an S6 edge since it first came out, I don't remember experiencing light reflections unless it's very minimal that I don't notice it?

Actually the only time I heard about this light reflection as a problem, is from the internet.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 11:18 3

38. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Does no-one else get really poor battery life with the S6 Edge?

My friend has from new, sent it back and they said nothing was wrong. With moderate use she has to charge it by the evening - she even turns Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off when not needed and an Android-knowledgeable friend checked over all the settings to make sure everything was set optimally...

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:28

46. tedkord (Posts: 9861; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I doubt have the Edge, but since the last security update, my Note 5 battery got worse. It isn't terrible, but it's noticeably less than before.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:48

51. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


Funnily enough I've just gone round hers for dinner (6:30pm) and I made a joke about being on 69% (as you do) and she said she was on 3%! She said she'd taken some pics and a 3 min video but that was it aside from normal Facebook and browsing. That can't be right, it must be a duff one. I've not seen any other phone that bad and her S5 before was fine.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 19:01 3

74. Xperia14 (Posts: 302; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


That's normal for a Samsung. Just don't believe the reviewers of PA who claim that the S6 has excellent 10.000 hours battery life. Same with the iPhone.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 12:39

49. junwoo (Posts: 3; Member since: 21 Apr 2015)


50% of my friends use samsung phone because i'm in korean. Even there were some complain about edge6+, there was no complain about reflection from side. And maybe you can use Anti-glare HealingShield film

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 13:55

59. willard12 (Posts: 1513; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Looking at the 103 reviews of the S6 edge+ on T-mobile's website, that are a grand total of 0 complaints about light reflections.

So, since all 103 of the people have to be crazy, I took a look at 809 reviews on AT&T and I see "809 out of 824(98%)reviewers would recommend this product to a friend."

So, I'm wondering, are there really 912 people who actually bought the product (presumably), took the time to review the device, and there were no complaints on light reflections and hand comfort. Maybe all of them only use the phone with gloves. Or, is testing that consists of trying a display model in a store that obviously caused a lot of pain to their hands and they couldn't see a thing because they were blinded by the bright light reflecting in their eyes, which somehow the 900 owners avoided. And now I'm thinking it's best to side with the majority because the little complaint that exists, even if slightly exaggerated, is about light reflecting on the "sides", which on any other device would be where the frame and bezel are. Either way, it's a good excuse to get either the regular S6 or Note 5 variants.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:13 3

3. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 1874; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


Apple's R&D is probably just master advertisement. Despite focusing on a fraction of the projects Samsung is responsible for, their devices still lag years behind the competition in terms of uses/versatility...

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:41

22. ph00ny (Posts: 1126; Member since: 26 May 2011)


It probably factored in 3billion dollar for beats?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:13 6

4. Nibbler1 (Posts: 29; Member since: 03 Apr 2015)


Where did they put all that money, all they do is copying others.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:27 18

5. TyrionLannister (unregistered)


Trust me, I was hoping for this exact comment as soon as I read the headline. Trolls never disappoint.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:33 8

9. TerryTerius (Posts: 1412; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Flexible screens, first phones in the world with curved displays, they have been slowly perfecting OLED for years, last year they supposedly made a breakthrough with an affordable way to mass produce batteries with graphene to nearly double their capacity within the same package size, they continue to work on creating their own chipsets, they popularized phablets and basically single-handedly created the product category, and I'm assuming that each and every flagship they produce goes through a lot of trial and error before they finalize the design and hardware functionality. Granted, that could be said about any large manufacturer.

On top of that, they are in a LOT of industries

http://youtu.be/6Afpey7Eldo

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung#Subsidiaries_and_affiliates

I get that you're kind of trolling, but they are a genuinely massive company. Not to mention all the stuff they make for their competitors.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:22

16. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 7822; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Just FYI - Samsung LTD and Samsung Electronics, are not the same company.

Samsung Electronics alone is a much bigger company than any OEM in this same class of products.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 11:51

41. TerryTerius (Posts: 1412; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


I'm aware. But I was referring to the total size of the Samsung Chaebol.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:36 9

10. tedkord (Posts: 9861; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


The irony is, the ones that Samsung supposedly copies are the ones who do the most copying.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:59 1

26. lyndon420 (Posts: 3708; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


A certain judge comes to mind.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 13:19

57. razmahtaz001 (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 May 2013)


samsung copy? how do they copy when samsung is a monster supplier of all things to the rest of the world? are u talking about rounded corners? LOL

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:30 3

6. Baracus (Posts: 223; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)


I can't see Apple spending that much unless the legal and R&D departments were together.

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:31 13

8. Dude2014 (Posts: 433; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Apple doesn't need to spend billions of dollars on R&D cuz no matter what they make blind iFan will buy their products anyway. All they need to do is to keep their Fruit logo on their products. :)

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 08:58

12. rishav20193 (Posts: 174; Member since: 18 Jul 2015)


yess.....my exact thoughts

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:33 1

21. Wiencon (Posts: 1709; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


Seems like fandroids don't need much to come

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:08 2

14. Jimrod (Posts: 855; Member since: 22 Sep 2014)


But how will blind iFans see that fruit logo? :\

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 09:25 4

17. Ninetysix (Posts: 2314; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Add braille around the logo ..lol

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 14:41

64. tedkord (Posts: 9861; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Holy hell. Have you seen the sh*tstorm camera bumps cause, and you want to add more?

posted on 26 Jan 2016, 13:23

58. razmahtaz001 (Posts: 56; Member since: 11 May 2013)


i would love to see over a dozen ot ios oem phone makers and see if apple would be able to maintain its loyal iFans LOL...apple is pretty lucky to be the only ios oem.

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