Booz & Co. names Apple the ‘most innovative’ for third year by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine November 7, 2012, 5:40 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons FORTUNE — Although it spent less than Amazon AMZN on R&D last year, half as much as Google GOOG and IBM IBM and one third as much as Samsung and Microsoft MSFT , executives polled by Booz & Co. named Apple AAPL the world’s most innovative company for the third year in a row. As the Booz report puts it, “…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 the management consulting firm’s eighth annual survey, Apple, Google and 3M MMM retained their No. 1, 2 and 3 spots, respectively, Samsung rose for the second year in a row, and Amazon joined the top 10 list for the first time. You can learn more about Booz’ methodology by downloading its media kit here. Below: Who’s up and who’s down.