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.