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Apple R&D spending spiked $425M last quarter, reaching record $1.6B

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Apple continues to invest heavily in research in development, with a 36 percent year-over-year increase seen last quarter, helping the company reach $4.36 billion in total R&D costs so far this fiscal year as new products in new categories are hotly anticipated.

Apple spent $1.6 billion on R&D in the just-concluded June quarter, the company's 8-K for filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday reveals. That's up $425 million from the $1.18 billion the company spent on researching new products in the same three-month span of 2013.

So far, Apple has spent $4.36 billion on R&D over the first 9 months of Apple's fiscal year 2014. That's an increase of 32 percent over the same nine-month span of fiscal 2013.

The new data shows that Apple's investment in R&D has actually been accelerating, growing faster in the June quarter than in previous quarters.

The spending comes as Apple is believed to be gearing up to enter entirely new product categories, and also to bring about major revisions to existing products. Most notably, a complete redesign of the iPhone lineup is expected to come this fall, while the company is heavily rumored to introduce an all-new "iWatch."

R&D investments made in the June quarter may not necessarily be indicative of products set for imminent release, but are a clear signal that the company is planning to continue innovating in existing and new markets stretching into the future.

AppleInsider was first to report in April that Apple had increased its R&D spending by $303 million in the March 2014 quarter. Costs for that three-month period reached $1.42 million, or about $280 million less than the June quarter.

In April, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook cited escalating R&D investments as a key reason why his company needs to have ample cash on hand. As of the conclusion of the June quarter, Apple held $164.5 billion in cash, with $133.7 billion of that offshore.

"We'll continue to innovate by investing in research and development and capitalizing on our strengths in hardware, software and services," Cook said in April.