Tech Companies with the Biggest R&D Budgets

In the extremely competitive world of information and communications technology, there are a couple of ways for a tech company to stay ahead of its rivals. They can merge or acquire other companies that have products that could add value to its own. Or, they can expand and grow from within by investing in research and development.

Half a decade ago, the big tech firms were already spending about $9.70 for every $100 in revenue, or almost a tenth of the money they were taking in. The giant companies did most of the spending, with billions of dollars being channeled to areas like virtualization and other software that is passed through the web. With the advancements that have happened in the past five years, these numbers certainly have further increased.

What firms have been investing in the creation of new technology the most? Here now is a list of the top 10 tech companies with the biggest R&D budgets.

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10 Apple - $2.4 billion

Apple is a multinational corporation based in Cupertino in California. The company designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells personal computers, software and other consumer electronics. Steve Jobs established the company in 1976 with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. While it only ranks 10th in R&D budget, Apple probably has had the most efficient use of the money as they have been consistently praised for its cool and user-friendly gadgets. It revolutionized music through the iPod, tablet computers through iPad, and mobile phones through the iPhone. In terms of revenue, it is the second largest information technology company in the world.

9 Amazon - $2.9 billion

Amazon is an electronic commerce company based in Seattle in Washington. Jeff Bezos established the company in 1994 and it went online the following year. It started out as an online bookstore, but it eventually diversified to sell items such as DVD's, CD's, VHS tapes, software, apparel, furniture, video games, toys, jewelry and even food. It eventually developed its own consumer electronic equipment, like the Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer. It is also a major provider of cloud computing services.

8 Google - $5.2 billion

Google is a multinational corporation based in California. The company specializes in products and services related to the Internet, like the search engine, software, cloud computing and online advertising technology. Larry Page and Sergey Brin established the company in 1998. It has since grown rapidly to offer other products like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Plus, Chrome OS and the Chromebook.

7 Cisco - $5.8 billion

Cisco is a multinational company based in San Jose in California. Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner established the company in 1984. The company designs, develops, manufactures and sells networking equipment. Its products also include items for network management, optical networking, storage area networks, VOIP, and data center.

6 IBM - $6.3 billion

International Business Machines Corporation is more commonly known as IBM. This multinational technology and consulting company is based in Armonk in New York. Thomas J. Watson and Charles Ranlet Flint established the company in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company, or CTR. The company offers hardware and software, as well as infrastructure, hosting and consulting services for a variety of items from mainframe technology to nanotechnology. It has 12 research laboratories around the world and holds the record for most patents by a company for 20 straight years. It is credited with the invention of the ATM, floppy disk, hard disk drive, magnetic stripe card, Universal Product Code, SABRE airline reservation system and DRAM.

5 Panasonic - $6.6 billion

Panasonic is a multinational electronics company based in Osaka in Japan. Formerly called the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Konosuke Matsushita established the company in 1918. It is considered as one of the largest electronics producers in Japan. It is also the fourth largest manufacturer of televisions in the world as of 2012.

4 Nokia - $7.8 billion

Nokia is a multinational communications and information technology company based in Espoo in Finland. Fredrik Idestam and Leo Mechelin established the company in 1871, though it can trace its roots even further back to 1861. It offers mobile telephones and portable devices, as well as services like applications, games, music, media and messaging. It was the largest vendor of mobile phones from 1998 to 2012. In 2013, Microsoft bought the company for $7.2 billion.

3 Intel - $8.4 billion

Intel is a multinational company based in Santa Clara in California. Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce established the company in 1968. It is now the largest and highest-valued semiconductor company in the world based on revenues earned. It developed the x86 microprocessor, which is the processor found in most personal computers. It also develops and manufactures motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers, integrated circuits, flash memory, graphic chips and embedded processors. It is also helping pioneer in the research and development of electrical transmission and generation.

2 Samsung - $9 billion

Samsung is a multinational conglomerate based in Seoul in South Korea. It offers a variety of products and services, including apparel, chemicals, medical equipment, advertising, construction, financial services and medical services. Lee Byung Chul established the company in 1938 as a trading company. It has since expanded to offer tech products and services for consumer electronics, semiconductors, and information and communications technology equipment. Based on revenues, Samsung Electronics is the largest information technology company in the world. It has become a powerful influence on South Korean life, with its products rivaling Apple in terms of user-friendliness.

1 Microsoft - $9 billion

Microsoft is a multinational software company based in Redmond in Washington. Bill Gates and Paul Allen established the company in 1975. It has since become the largest maker of software in the world, as well as one of the most valuable. It develops, creates, licenses and supports several products and services related to computing. It has been dominant in the fields of operating systems and office suites, and has also made headway in search engines, video games, mobile phones and digital services.

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