Global management consulting firm Booz & Co. named Apple the world's most innovative company for the third year in a row. The report notes that Apple spent less than its rivals on R&D and still trumped companies like Amazon, Google and IBM because of how it invested its money.
...it is not how much companies spend on research and development that determines success - what really matters is how those R&D funds are invested in talent, process and tools.
Apple kept its top spot over #2 Google and #3 3M, both of which also defended their spots successfully for the third year in a row. One of the biggest movers was Apple rival Samsung, which climbed from #9 in 2010 to #7 in 2011 and finally to #4 this year.
You can read more about Booz & Co.'s 2012 Global Innovation 1000 study on the firm's website. You can also download the full PDF report, watch a video discussion of the results from the study's authors and browse through other relevant materials.
[Via Fortune's Apple 2.0]