Apple’s latest ad, “Bean Counter”, attempts to claim that Microsoft should have spent the $300M it used on its latest marketing campaign on fixing Vista’s issues. Let’s set aside the fact that Windows 7 sticks it to Apple (hard core), or that Apple can’t ship anything without a v0.1 release 4 days later, and focus on just the Bean Counting, as Apple suggests.
Steve Sinchak from WinGeek did an exhaustive breakdown of Apple’s spending vs Microsoft’s spending, and if you’ve ever spent any time looking at Microsoft’s quarterly reports, the following won’t surprise you (I’ve broken it down into table form for easy reading):
Besides what Steve pointed out, a couple things jump out at me:
- Microsoft has twice the sales income as Apple.
- Microsoft spent the equivalent of 64% of Apple’s entire yearly advertising spending on a single campaign.
- Microsoft spends 10x as much on R&D as Apple. On a % of sales basis, Microsoft spends 4.2x more per dollar earned than Apple.
- Apple spends 1.7x as much per dollar on R&D than it does on advertising. Microsoft spends 5.2x per dollar on R&D than it does on advertising.
- Put another way, Microsoft spends nearly as much in R&D per year than two years of Apple net profits.
The old saying goes, “If you point a finger at someone,there will be three pointing back at you.” I guess in Apple’s case, there are 4.2 fingers pointing back at them. Apple would do well to get over its penis envy and heed its own advice than to point fingers on this one.
[Hat tip to Steve for doing more investigation on the matter than any of the mainstream tech press did.]