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Apple is spending a tremendous amount of money in research and development. Since before 2012, Apple has increased their focus on R&D by several billion dollars. In the last financial quarter, the company increased their investment by $2.4 billion, this according to The Motley Fool. This brings their current total to $9.6 billion per year. It’s quite a lot of money to be investing in the future.
Ashraf Eassa of The Motley Fool suggests there are several areas Apple is investing time and money in. First, Eassa speculates that Apple is working on improving their GPU and CPUs. Chips are the heart of computing devices and the company usually updates them about every year. The A-series processors power the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV and are designed to be competitive. While these chips require a lot of money for R&D, their budget extends to many other areas for improvement.
“Apple is working on future iterations of its Touch ID technology, and there have been numerous reports that the company is working to deliver its own integrated touch and display driver chips (it currently sources discrete touch controllers and display driver chips externally).”
Software and services are important to providing customers a reliable and user-friendly experience. It’s no surprise that Apple continues to explore ways to improve their operating systems. Essa implies that Apple focuses more on iOS-based software than Mac software. It makes sense since iPhones and iPads are the most profitable. However, that does not mean there’s no room for OS X.
Macs continue to gain improvements to OS X and that will not change. Apple TV has a renewed focus now, which has seen a huge over-haul of its operating system. Apple continues to develop new software platforms, including what runs the Apple Watch, taking up some financial resources. This is also true about Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iTunes, which have required some level of investment.
New investments are likely on the horizon. The self-driving, fully electric, Apple Car rumor has yet to die (though they may be facing some problems). Virtual reality, a topic I covered recently, is another potential industry yet to be tapped by Apple. The company isn’t going to sit around and allow other companies to advance these technologies without some kind of influence. Will the Apple Car become a reality? Maybe, maybe not, but Apple will find some way to be involved in the automotive industry.
Whatever the case may be, Apple spends a massive amount of funds on research and development. It shouldn’t be surprising since most if not all tech companies do the same. Apple has to continue to be innovative. The only reliable way to do so is with R&D. Not all projects become the real deal, however, all products started out as an idea. No matter what new products come from Cupertino, you can bet that Apple spent a lot of time and money coming up with them. It’s all just part of the process.