Apple boosts R&D spending

Apple is increasing its research and development spending and is now at 3 percent of revenue compared with 2 percent in recent years.

The R&D spending was detailed in Apple's quarterly 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As Apple's sales have ramped, the company hasn't been able to increase its R&D spending. As a result, Apple's R&D spending as a percentage of revenue was in line with what Dell and Hewlett-Packard spend.

Apple CEO Tim Cook obviously sees the discrepancy. He should, since Cook was a former IBMer. … Read more

Samsung launches new $100M fund for cloud, mobile

MENLO PARK, Calif.--Samsung Electronics today launched a new $100 million investment fund to boost its U.S. footprint and spur innovation in areas such as cloud computing and mobile privacy.

The Korean electronics giant, which hosted a press event today here, said the Samsung Catalyst Fund will center on funding early stage companies focused on components and subsystems. Its $1 billion American Ventures America Fund will also be used to help further target areas like mobility, the cloud, and the Internet of Things.

"Much of our innovation in the past was done in Korea, because that's where … Read more

Apple R&D spending up nearly 40 percent in 2012

Apple increased the amount it spent on research and development during 2012, though it remained a fraction of its overall spending.

According to the company's annual report, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon, Apple spent $3.4 billion on research and development during its fiscal year, up $952 million, or 39 percent from last year. The year prior, the company spent $2.4 billion, up $647 million or 36 percent from the year before.

While the cost went up, the amount Apple spends on R&D versus its overall sales remained … Read more

Want to work for Apple? Try Israel

Apple is on the hunt for talent for its Israel research and development facility.

The company is about to embark upon a major hiring campaign for its R&D facility in Haifa, according to Ynet News.

The report said Apple has been actively recruiting for new employees since March, but plans to ramp up the hiring over the next few weeks. In fact, the report noted that Apple was looking for a headhunter as early as February who would help hiring dozens of candidates simultaneously. Job listings are expected to pop up on Apple's Web site shortly, according … Read more

Dell's long, slow climb on R&D spending

Dell CEO Michael Dell is working hard to position the company as more than just a PC vendor. In fact, Dell is pushing the company upstream so much he’s willing to walk away from low-margin PC deals and spend more on research and development.

The catch is that Dell’s talk hasn’t caught up to his R&D spending as a percentage of revenue. Here’s what Dell said on the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call yesterday.

Our improved profitability and cash flow have enabled us to move forward with strategic investments both organic and inorganic. … Read more

Apple R&D as percent of revenue hits a low

Guess what Apple's research and development spending is as a percentage of revenue?

Chances are your answers are so far off that Apple's R&D spending could be a drinking game.

If you ask a few friends you're likely to get guesses anywhere from 4 percent to maybe 10 percent or so. The real answer: R&D represents 2.2 percent of sales.

The point is worth pondering as Apple preps its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow. For the nine months ended June 25, Apple's R&D spending was $1.78 billion, or 2.… Read more

Nokia testing labs: Breaking phones to fix them

SAN DIEGO--Without a doubt, the biggest highlight of CTIA was spent in the company of fellow journalists touring Nokia's testing facilities here, otherwise known as the chambers of torture.

It's here that testing engineers inflict a variety of mechanical and chemical abuse on their electronic quarry. Make no mistake: destruction is the labs' principal goal.… Read more

GE, Nissan form R&D pact to boost EV adoption

DETROIT (Bloomberg)--General Electric and Nissan Motor said they signed a two-year research and development agreement to speed infrastructure improvements and spur electric car sales.

GE and Nissan, which has sold more than 7,000 of its Leaf electric vehicles this year, will focus research on how recharging such vehicles affects home and workplace electrical systems and utility power grids.

"Together we'll make a better world possible for the use of electric vehicles," Mark Little, GE's director of global research, said at a press briefing today at Nissan's Farmington Hills, Mich., facility.

The companies agreed … Read more

Jelly-filled phone batteries keep up with you

Replace the insides of a lithium ion battery with a jelly-like goo and you get inexpensive, safe, powerful, lightweight batteries that can power everything from cell phones to electric cars.

These solid-state lithium ion batteries are just around the corner. A gel electrolyte from Leeds University in the U.K. is ready for prime time and the university is looking for commercial partners to use the electrolyte for the next generation of portable batteries. Gel electrolytes have been percolating in laboratories around the world for years, and other research outfits, notably NASA, have recently been offering to license out their technologies.

A key advantage of the Leeds electrolyte is the way it's made. It's extruded in continuous sheets like fresh pasta or fruit leather. The result is a thin, flexible battery that can be stacked in layers to make batteries that hold more energy than today's batteries of the same size and weight. Even better, the pasta-like process means batteries that are cheaper to manufacture.… Read more

Vodafone's U.S. incubation center bets on startups

What's a mega British wireless telco like Vodafone, with no brand presence in the U.S., doing opening a research and development center in the heart of Silicon Valley? Quite simply following the talent.

Vodafone lifted the lid today on its R&D center, which it will use as an incubation center for helping local startups quickly develop, test, and bring products to market; particularly solutions that give Vodafone a leg up on its competitors back in the UK and elsewhere.

The operator's trans-Atlantic presence may not be as odd as it seems, says Vodafone's Fay … Read more