Apple's 36% Jump in R&D Spending Hints at New Products
Apple's third quarter results revealed a 36% increase in research and development spending over the previous year, reports the Financial Times. The company spent $1.6 billion in the quarter, about 4% of sales, on R&D. That's the highest ratio since 2006, says BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk, the year before Apple unveiled its first iPhone.
As people familiar with the situation have indicated to the Financial Times and others, this year’s hot new product will be a wearable device that tracks fitness and allows remote control of a tethered smartphone. Sources say the device is in fact unlikely to be called the iWatch, despite Apple having filed to trademark that term last year.
Interesting, the USPTO just granted Apple a patent for an electronic wristband which connects to another device such as an iPod nano to create a wristwatch. The device was dubbed 'iTime' in the patent diagrams.
While it's unlikely that this patent represents the device Apple is rumored to release, it does provide evidence that Apple has been working on wristwatch technology. The company is also rumored to be working on updated Apple TV hardware or perhaps an Apple Television.
Whatever the device, Apple has been pouring an unprecedented amount of funds into its development.
“People look for signs in the quarter” of what is to come, said Mr Piecyk. “Gross margins and revenue guidance didn’t seem to give the impression of any great new product during the [current] quarter. However the investment in R&D could be a better indicator.”
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