“Apple spent $2.56 billion on research — more than it spent in any year-long period before 2012 — in just this past quarter alone,” Mike Murphy writes for Quartz. “It’s spent $7.5 billion on research for the year, and is on track to outpace last year’s spend, according to its earnings statement.”

“Apple can’t possibly be spending all that money on making the iPhone a little thinner, or making a slightly better pencil for the iPad,” Murphy writes. “But, other than speculations and rumors, there hasn’t been proof that the company is working on much beyond its existing product lines—until now. Answering a question from an analyst on the earnings call, Cook explained the company’s strategy behind its ballooning spending on research and development. ‘On the R&D growth, we do continue to invest significantly,’ Cook said, adding: ‘The balance of the company, we’re managing more flattish from a year-over-year point of view. The products that are in R&D, there is quite a bit of investment in there for products and services that are not currently shifting or derivations of what is currently shipping. And so I don’t want to talk about the exact split of it. But you can look at the growth rate and conclude that there’s a lot of stuff that we’re doing beyond the current products.'”

“Apple is now spending more on research than most major car companies,” Murphy writes. “Apple hasn’t really given us any indication of what its future holds, or how it’s spending its research budget. That’s not Apple’s style. But the sheer amount of money in question gives some credence to the more fanciful rumors and reports on what the company’s up to.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: One thing’s for sure, if Apple’s Car doesn’t fly, much less fly itself, the naysayers will be proclaiming Apple’s doom from the rooftops of CNBC et al.