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Apple last year spent a record $6 billion on Research and Development costs

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Apple this week filed its 2014 10-K annual report with the SEC, offering investors a comprehensive look into the company's operations over the last 12 months.

One of the more interesting items revealed on the 10-K is that Apple over the past year spent US$6 billion on Research and Development costs. The $6 billion figure is far and away the highest amount Apple has ever spent on R&D. By way of comparison, Apple spent $4.5 billion and $3.38 billion on R&D costs in 2013 and 2012, respectively. So in just two years time, Apple's R&D budget increased by an astounding 78%.

Apple's 10-K reads in part:

The year-over-year growth in 2014 and 2013 R&D expense was driven primarily by an increase in headcount and related expenses, including share-based compensation costs and machinery and equipment to support expanded R&D activities. The Company continues to believe that focused investments in R&D are critical to its future growth and competitive position in the marketplace and are directly related to timely development of new and enhanced products that are central to the Company's core business strategy. As such, the Company expects to make further investments in R&D to remain competitive.

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