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When I see R&D spending comparisons, I wonder if certain companies are more liberal about what they account as R&D.

Every year at work we fill out a survey where we estimate what portion of our time was spent on R&D vs other things like maintenance. We're told it's important because there's a tax credit for R&D. My (probably faulty) memory says that our guidelines classify all development on new features and products, as well as any research necessary in executing my job, as R&D. Which is very different from something like Bell Labs or ATG.

There're clearly also companies with divisions purely focused on advanced technologies unrelated to products for this year or the next, and I'm curious where the majority of spending falls.

Edit: or, maybe it comes down to very different numbers of employees making products. A quick browse online suggests that Nokia has more employees, does some (all?) of their own manufacturing, and that many of Apple's employees work in the retail stores.

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