One billion dollars more than 2011.
Apple has a lot of money. Earlier this year, the company's co-founder made headlines when he said he thought the company would eventually $1000 per share making it a trillion-dollar company. For now, the company has a market cap of just over $560 billion. So what does a company like that spend on research?
According to an SEC filing the company published yesterday, Apple spent an extra billion dollars in research in 2012 compared to research spending for 2011. The company wrote in the filing that it depends heavily upon its ability to 'ensure a continual and timely flow of competitive products' and that it continues to develop new products. Total R&D spending for the year was $3.4 billion. This is compared to $2.4 billion in 2012, and just $1.8 billion the year before, in 2010.
Though it might sound like a huge chunk of change, it's still quite a small amount relative to Apple's net sales. Apple reported that this year's $3.4 billion is just 2 percent of net sales. This is equal to the percentage of net sales in 2011, and actually less than the 3 percent of net sales in 2010. It's also not that much when you look at what others are spending. The Verge points out that Microsoft spent $10 billion, which is 15 percent of its net sales.