Amazon powered its prolific 2017, which saw the release of a cavalcade of new products and services, with $22.6 billion in spending on research and development, tops among U.S. companies.
According to data from FactSet first reported by Recode, Google parent Alphabet came in second in R&D spending in 2017 at $16.6 billion, followed by Intel at $13.1 billion, Microsoft at $12.3 billion and Apple at $11.6 billion.
Facebook jumped into the top 10, spending $7.8 billion in 2017.
One of Amazon’s biggest R&D efforts in recent years has been the cashier-less grocery store concept Amazon Go. The company spent 2017 getting the technology, first announced in December 2016, ready for prime time before opening the first location in January.
Amazon has invested heavily in its market-leading cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services. AWS juiced Amazon’s bottom line in 2017, bringing in $17.4 billion in revenue for the year, a 43 percent jump over its total in 2017.
Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa was a central focus last year as well. In September, Amazon introduced a next-generation Echo powered by Alexa, as well as several other new devices. That came just a few months after Amazon debuted a touchscreen version of the smart speaker, the Echo Show.
Amazon saw its stock rise 57 percent in 2017, crossing the $1,000 threshold for the first time. The company added 225,000 employees in 2017 as it closed the biggest deal in its history, the $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market.