Apple’s $425 million spike in R&D spending points to new products in pipeline

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Eddy Cue thinks 2014 will be the best product pipeline Apple’s had in 25 years, and according to the company’s latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Cupertino is certainly pouring enough money into R&D to back him up.

Apple increased spending in research and development 36 percent year-over-year in Q3, with an extra $425 million being funneled into R&D in the last quarter alone.

According to new Apple documents filed with the SEC yesterday, R&D spending at Apple has already reached $4.36 billion during this fiscal year, with $1.6 billion of that being spent in the June quarter. Last year, Apple only spent $1.18 billion in the same quarter.

The $1.6 billion quarterly investment represents a mere 4 percent of sales, but BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk notes that it’s Apple’s highest percentage spend on R&D since 2006, the year before the the iPhone’s release. With $164.5 billion in cash reserves – $133.7 billion of that is offshore – the company certainly has enough money to throw at a couple major new projects.

The increased investment in R&D doesn’t indicate new products will be released soon, but it’s a clear sign that Apple is looking into other categories beside the Mac, iPad, iPhone and MacBook.

Apple is expected to reveal an iWatch this fall that will allegedly come with advanced health and fitness features after the company hired a team of experts in biotech, fashion, and fitness. Standalone HomeKit hardware products have also been rumored to be in the works after Apple revealed its initiative for the home at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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