Apple doesn’t get a whole lot of respect from the tech world when it comes to innovation. The company is seen more as a re-innovator than an innovator, as it typically builds its products on top of previous inventions.

But according to a new report by Global management consulting firm Booz & Co, Apple is the most innovative company in the world. The iPad-maker finished ahead of the likes of Google, 3M and its rival Samsung…

This is the management consulting firm’s eighth annual survey, and the third year in a row that Apple, Google and 3M landed in the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots. Samsung, on the other hand, climbed from #7 to #4 this year.

It’s interesting to see Apple in the top spot, despite the fact that it spent the second least amount in research and development this year at $2.4B. By contrast, Samsung and Microsoft both spent $9B on R&D costs.

Fortune points to the Booz & Co report for more insight into their methodology (via TUAW):

“Year after year, our Global Innovation 1000 study has demonstrated that 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.”

In addition to Samsung’s three-spot jump, Amazon found itself in a top 10 spot on the Global Innovation 1000 list for the first time ever, knocking out Facebook. Booz & Co says the social network has lost its initial luster.

Whether you agree with the list or not, it’s hard to deny that Apple has found a winning formula. The company recently announced that it sold 3 million tablets last weekend, more than most companies do in a quarter.

  • iXanczy

    Innovation Apple style; make something THINNER, LIGHTER and FASTER.

    Apple puts on sunglasses and says “Aww Yeah!” (And enjoys worldwide free advertising)

  • JamesR624

    So apparently. this firm doesn’t know what the word innovative means anymore.

    in·no·va·tion   [in-uh-vey-shuhn] Noun. Something new or different introduced.

    The last and ONLY two times in recent history Apple has been REALLY innovative was in 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone (no phone was like this before) and again in 2010 with the iPad. (no tablet took this approach before)

  • MagicDrumSticks

    Apple simply uses the name brand to sell its products now. Momentum is already created, they just have to ride the wave now.

    They are no longer innovate like they once were.

    • iamnotfan

      Exactly .

    • Kurt

      which is why they will not be on top for long. Apple needs to make a change. dare me say “think different” change the os a bit, add some features. crazy huh?

  • CollegiateLad

    Where Apple leads, the market follows. Look at modern smart phones now. We no longer hear about net books – it’s all tablets now. They killed portable CD players with the iPod. Who makes the best all-in-one? Yep, you guessed it. Who makes the most popular notebooks? Yep! The MacBook Air has no rival. The App Store spurred the way – everybody has one (now). Dominates the music scene with iTunes – people don’t mind paying for music now. Netscape who? Just killed the disc drive. Axed FireWire. Introduced thunderbolt. Time machine is brilliant. I can wireless acces the drive on my iMac from my Mac mini. Unparalleled designs and fit and finish – best hardware in each class it’s in. Mac App Store. iTunes U. iTunes Match is awesome. Airport express. Magic Mouse. Best track pads of any laptop. Magic track pad… And yes, thinner and lighter than the competition. Doesnt need quad core processors to hide laggy software. A6 and A6x spank the competition even quad cores. Because of iOS, developers are now making millions with 70% cut. Couldn’t do that prior to iPhone – carriers controlled everything. Took 30 minutes to get online from my razr and the apps absolutely sucked. Apple put the real Internet in my pocket. Led the charge against crappy flash despite the industry and still won. They said apples retail presence would fail – now apple is more valuable than Exxon. In a recession, apple still has over $120 billion even with highest priced gadgets. Competitors must sell at cost to remain relevant. They are innovators in business and marketing. Show me another company that trails in market share for both PCs and mobile who can do this? RIMM? Palm? Nokia? Who? Nobody!

    Yeah. What. Ever.

    • LOL all that was true…2 years ago. Apple’s innovations nowadays are bigger screens and new, comparatively slow processors. Who owns most the market share? Google/Android. Apple sales figures and loyalty ratings are slowly dropping. That tells you they’re doing something… something wrong.

      • CollegiateLad

        Clueless. The A6 and A6X are the fastest mobile processors out there. And every single review backs my statement. Who owns the premium market(which also happens to be the market the iPhone competes in)? That’s right, iOS. Sales figures dropping? Maybe the recently released iPhone 5 and iPad mini didn’t get the memo. Also sales have increased every year, year over year since the iPhone’s inception. Same for the iPad, Apple TV, MacBooks, iMacs, and MacBook Airs. The only product that’s on the decline is the iPod. And just wait for this holiday quarter. It’s gonna be a monster.

        Get your head out of the sand.

    • Guest

      Not anymore, Apple is now following Amazon and Google and countering the 7″ tablet market. I wish Steve Jobs is still here.

    • Guest
    • Guest

      And now Android Google play store caught up in number of apps, and has a higher growth rate than the Apple app store.

    • Most popular note book is Mac Book Air? Just googled “Most popular note book”, none of the top 10 sites suggest that.

      I have learned that Bullshit Mountain is tall. That Bullshit Mountain is wide, and it’s deep.

      And now Android Google play store caught up in number of apps (700k), and has a higher growth rate than the Apple app store.

      Don’t get me wrong, I own Apple devices myself. What you said are somewhat true, 2 or 3 years ago. Unfortunately, as much as I wish it’s better, let’s face the truth that iPhone 5, iPad Mini, and iPad 4 are NOT innovative. Apple is now following Amazon and Google and countering the 7″ tablet market. Not to the mentioned that notorious iOS6 that for the first time decreased customer satisfaction. Apple is not longer at that glory built upon by Steve Jobs, and its share price is tumbling to reflect this reality.

      • CollegiateLad

        Keep up. The MacBook is the most popular notebook and the Air has no rival. Jesus!

        And let me guess, the nexus 7 and kindle are innovative? lol. Or wait, the no LTE having nexus 4 and 10? Remember those? Both were mopped by the iPhone 5 and iPad 4. Source: AnandTech.

        Speaking of Google Play, let’s talk quality of apps. No, let’s not.

      • I am sorry to report that NONE of the top 10 search results in Google for “most popular notebook” suggest that any Macbook is the most popular notebook.

        I posted links in another reply but unfortunately it’s waiting for admin approval.

        Sorry to burst your bubble for “The A6 and A6X are the fastest mobile processors out there. And every single review backs my statement. ”

        Definitely not every single reviews, the iPad 4 A6X processor scored1,757 points on Geekbench while the Galaxy Note 2 (Yes, A6X on iPad got beaten by a phone) achieved a higher 1,834points

        The Nexus 7 and Kindle fire HD are innovative, because they created a new 7″ tablet markets; just like how when Steven Jobs was here, he created the new multi-touch phone market. Now Apple is no longer “leading” or “creating” markets, rather, it is “following” and “responding” to new markets. That’s the difference.

        As for LTE, I do agree that Google should release higher end LTE models, while keeping those existing ones as cheaper alternatives. However, looking at battery life reports on iPhone 5, I wouldn’t be that glad about LTE. Personally, I have a friend who owns an iPhone 5 that drains 20% battery each hour in standby mode when LTE is switched on. Might be due to iOS6 (firmware bugs, or it just keeps switching between LTE and 3G due to poor signal), might be the LTE chip itself, but definitely no point having it for him as he just switches LTE off all the time.

        I also recommend that you physical try apps on Google Play that the Apple App Store cannot implement.
        For instance:
        – Fresh Leaves (Stunning 3D background wallpaper)
        – LilyPad HD (Instant messaging apps that can overlay on any apps)
        – Apex Launcher (Yes, You can install different launchers, unlike iOS)
        – tTorrent (Well, you know what it is)

        and many more.

        More crazy true multi-task capabilities can also be found on galaxy note 2, smooth windowed apps. Now coming to galaxy note 10.1 too via jelly bean update.

      • CollegiateLad
      • Kurt

        apple still thinks its 2007, thats why they keep selling the same looking devices each year. they live in their little bubble

    • thedarkknight80

      In other news, Steve Jobs ( RIP) is turning in his grave, while some fan is airing out on a blog what seems to be a nostalgic fantasy world that takes him back in time to 2009 ….

      PS : You sir should watch the movie ” Safety Not Guaranteed ” . It should help you ease the transition to reality .

  • must be because of the “completely redesigned” iphone 5 😛

  • Guest

    I have learned that Bullshit Mountain is tall. That Bullshit Mountain is wide, and it’s deep.

  • thor_molecules

    “Apple doesn’t get a whole lot of respect from the tech world when it comes to innovation.”

    Because outside of the RDF that is known as the iBlogosphere, people tend to use their brains a little more. Let’s a take a look at Apple’s “innovations” over the past three years, shall we?

    -The iPhone, 4, 4S, and 5. All are basically the same except for minor hardware differences that follow a logical order (more memory, faster processor, better cameras, larger screen, etc etc).

    All things that every smartphone maker under the sun was doing. This is usually the part where someone chimes in with “But, but, Retina!”

    Shut up.

    All the buzz surrounding the “complete redesign” that is the iPhone 5 is especially hilarious because last year around these parts the argument was a larger screen didn’t make sense because you can’t use it with one hand (“Apple did the research!”), and LTE didn’t either because it’s a battery hog.

    The moment Apple does it? “OH. EM. GEE. REVOLUTIONARY!!!”

    -iOS 5, who’s headlining feature was notification center. Something the competition “innovated” about three years prior. And Siri, which is more novelty than functional. Personally, I find that personal virtual assistants are of limited use when it’s faster to just type what you want to do.

    -iOS 6 which brought us ‘Maps’ (gee, where have I seen a baked in navigation solution before?), Passbook (nobody still knows what the hell it even does), and “deep” Facebook integration that’s absolutely laughable compared to the third party API solutions found on other platforms.

    -Lest we forget the iPad Mini. Was just a short time ago that this, also “didn’t make sense. Apple figured out that consumers didn’t want 7” tablets because they’re too small and don’t offer a good experience, and that was accepted as gospel.

    That is, until they made one. *Now* it makes sense.

    Don’t get me wrong, I buy Apple products because I like them and prefer the interface. But I don’t pretend that every fart that comes out of Cupertino smells like roses. Even the most ardent Apple supporter has to admit they have been really stale as of late. Borrowing ideas from the competition and rebranding them is hardly innovative.

    Btw, pardon is my post comes off as a little abrasive.

    Fanboys really irritate me.

    • Kurt

      please say it again. these people on this blog need to hear it again. and apple needs to listen. give us features. not the same looking device again and again. i can’t buy another iphone. since 2007 my devices looked exactly the same from the front. and dont get me started on the OS haha

      • thor_molecules

        Absolutely correct. The ironic thing is that before RIM’s fall they were crucified by the press for doing the same exact thing (e.g. releasing “new” models that are functionally the same save one or two new features). And let’s not forget the lashing Android still gets over all their handsets being “basically the same.”

        Yet time and again, Apple is spared this line of criticism.

        It boggles the mind.

      • The question is, how credible is Booz & Co? especially after this report?

    • maurid

      SPOT fcking ON. Smart guy over here, folks, one of the few remaining…

  • This year, better processor, more memory, better camera, next year, better processor, more memory, better camera, wow, how innovative : ) I love apple, but I’m getting sick of this

  • maurid

    REALLY?! Who chooses these things? Innovative compared to what?!

  • maurid

    Michael Moore should do a movie about Apple. That should be interesting.