Apple increased spending in R&D by 36%, could signify strong upcoming product lineup

image iWatch

Later this year, Apple is going to release iOS 8, the iPhone 6, and OS X Yosemite. At the same time, we could get new Macs, too. However, a new report strengthens the rumors that something even bigger is on the way.

According to a new report from Financial Times, based on a research note from BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk, Apple has been investing quite a bit over the last quarter in research and development. He notes that Apple increased spending in the department by up to 36 percent. Apple had a quarterly investment of $1.6 billion, which only represents 4% of sales. That marks the highest percentage of spending that Apple has done in R&D since 2006, which will go down in the history books as the year before Apple released the original iPhone.

During the earnings call on July 22, the usual commentary was made by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, identifying the strong quarterly sales behind them, but also making sure that people kept their eyes forward. He noted an excitement for new products coming down the pipeline, just as we’ve heard in the past. This increased focus on R&D, though, is one of the strongest indicators that we have that Apple is indeed working on something new and exciting.

Of course, all eyes are peeled for Apple’s oft-rumored iWatch, the company’s first wearable. Many believe it could be a device focused on health, which is supported by Apple’s recent reveal of HealthKit. Some believe, though, that it could have a strong focus on the “smart home,” with home automation becoming quite popular. Indeed, Apple has their own HomeKit as well. A safe bet could be that it’s a wearable designed to help its owner with all of that, and more.

What exactly Apple is working on to showcase at some point in the future is still anyone’s guess outside of Apple, and all we can go on are the little details we piece together. This huge investment in research and development is a strong signal that Apple has something exciting on the horizon, and suddenly this holiday season is looking better than ever.

What do you think this R&D could be used for? An iWatch? Apple TV?

[via Financial Times]