Apple's 36% Boost in Research and Development Spending Points to Strong Product Pipeline

Apple made a significant investment into research and development this past quarter, increasing spending in the category by 36 percent over the same quarter last year, reports Financial Times. As noted by BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk, Apple's $1.6 billion quarterly investment represents 4 percent of sales, the highest percentage of spending in R&D since 2006, the year before Apple released the first iPhone.

This huge increase supports rumors the company is investing significantly in more than just new iPhones, iPads, and Macs for its upcoming product pipeline. Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly confirmed the company is preparing to enter new product categories, with Cook saying Apple is working "really great stuff." Apple's Internet Software and Services chief Eddy Cue also enthusiastically noted that Apple's planned products for 2014 are "the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple."

iwatch-concept-nike

iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton

The highlight of these new products is likely the iWatch, a fitness-oriented smartwatch rumored for release later this year. The sensor-laden wearable device is expected to sync with the iPhone including via a new Health app for iOS 8 and may monitor vital health parameters such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and hydration status. A recently awarded patent hints at some of the advanced connectivity features Apple could embed into the device in future iterations.

Over the past several years, Apple has been hiring a number of medical and wearables experts, presumably to work on the iWatch team. Apple has also been pursuing hires from the fashion industry including former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve and former sales director of luxury watch company TAG Heuer Patrick Pruniaux. New retail chief Angela Ahrendts also comes from the fashion industry, having served as CEO of Burberry.

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Top Rated Comments

Reason077 Avatar
129 months ago
Eddy Cue also enthusiastically noted (https://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/29/eddy-cue-best-product-pipeline/) that Apple's planned products for 2014 are "the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple."
Someone at Apple says that every year. Usually right after earnings come out!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lord Hamsa Avatar
129 months ago
Y'all keep fixating on HealthKit being the big tie-in to the rumored iWatch, but I maintain the bigger selling point in the long run will likely be HomeKit integration, allowing you ready and easy control for your connected house at all times, even if you aren't at your computer or already holding your phone/tablet.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleInLVX Avatar
129 months ago
I dunno about the rest of you, but I'm starting to get some anticipation fatigue. My gut reactions when facing iWatch news these days is, "sure, whatever." I've gotten so I don't really care when or IF they release the silly thing. :( Maybe that's the problem with frequenting too many rumor sites.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordVic Avatar
129 months ago
Stuff in the pipeline eh?

I think they need some exlax, they've been constipated for a while now
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
129 months ago
I can see in 25 years that they will have the strongest product pipeline in 25 years.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Razeus Avatar
129 months ago
:rolleyes: Apple has 1 product in the pipeline at best.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)