Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty notes that these commitments are a signal of "major product ramps" in the next few months. Huberty also indicated that Apple has committed $5.6 billion towards product tooling and manufacturing process equipment, advertising, research and development, and Internet and telecommunications services. That's an increase of 100% sequentially.
Apple's total commitments of $21 billion are up 46% year-over-year and 36% from the prior quarter. That's the highest sequential growth since Apple launched the original iPhone in 2007.
Huberty says there are two likely reasons for the increase. First, Apple is planning to build more iPhones than ever for a record setting launch, as other reports have already indicated. Second, Apple may be planning to enter a new product category this year. Perhaps with the much rumored iWatch.
Apple's third quarter results reveal a 36% increase in research and development spending over the previous year. The company spent $1.6 billion in the quarter, about 4% of sales, on R&D. That's the highest ratio since 2006, the year before Apple unveiled its first iPhone.
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