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Apple's recently filed SEC 10-K form reports that company spent $691 million on advertising in the year that launched both iPad and the new iPhone 4.
According to a report by TechCrunch, that's a $190 million increase over the previous fiscal year, when the company spent $501 million on ads.
Apple's 2009 budget was just $15 million more than in 2008, when it spent $486 million, which in turn was only $19 million more than the $467 million that the company paid in 2007 on advertising during the year that launched the original iPhone.
However, despite the ten fold increase in ad spending over the last year, the company's tremendous increase in revenues resulted in ads accounting for only about 1% of the firm's revenues. In 2009, Apple spent about 1.37 percent of its revenues on ads, while in 2001 the report noted that Apple was spending about 5 percent of its revenues on ads.
In contrast with its peers, Apple's ad budget this year was less than Dell's and only half as much on advertising this year as Microsoft did last year. Part of the secret of Apple's relatively low ad budget must relate to the millions of dollars worth of free advertising the company enjoys whenever it invites the media to cover a special event.
Interestingly, this summer Apple