Apple spent only $5.5 billion on sales, marketing, and general and administrative expenses last year. Microsoft spent $17 billion.
Apple spent only $1.7 billion on research and development last year. Microsoft, with smaller sales and vastly slower growth, spent $8.7 billion.
Last quarter, research and development increased to $575 million, a yearly pace of $2.3 billion. But as a percentage of total revenue, it went down from 2.5% to 2.2%.
Similarly, sales, marketing and general and administrative costs also went up, to $1.9 billion. While a yearly cost at 1$7.6 billion, it also represents a drop in over all percentages, now representing 7.1% of total revenues instead of last year’s 8.2%.
So Apple continues to grow at astounding rates while keeping its R&D costs, as well as sales and marketing, very low. Last year MS spent over $25 billion in these two areas. Apple spent about $7 billion. Almost 1/4 the costs yet much more profit.