“Despite a third straight quarter of lower year-over-year sales, Apple is looking ahead to some of its longer-term ventures as future growth drivers, Steve Milunovich of UBS said Wednesday,” Elizabeth Gurdus reports for CNBC. “The IT hardware analyst said that as technologies for things like self-driving cars and virtual reality continue to improve, he believes Apple will thrive, especially considering the tech giant’s significant spending on research and development last quarter.”

Gurdus reports, “Milunovich said in a Squawk Box interview that he sees the company inching closer toward producing and distributing its own content.”

“‘Apple’s been super focused, and it appears that they believe that they want to be the ones to display the content, to manage the content,'” Milunovich said, noting that some investors believe that to effectively break into content, Apple should have acquired Time Warner or Netflix,” Gurdus reports. “‘I’m probably not so much on that side of things,’ he said, ‘but to believe that they shouldn’t be [acquiring new companies], you have to believe that the innovation is coming and that there will be some major new products over time, and I think the R&D budget suggests that that’s likely.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple’s massive R&D spend doesn’t intrigue, nothing will.

We have the strongest pipeline that we’ve ever had and we’re really confident about the things in it. But as usual, we’re not going to talk about what’s ahead.Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 25, 2016

A radically different Apple looms; R&D reveals the company’s largest pivot yet is coming – May 11, 2016
Apple’s massive R&D expenditure indicates myriad projects in the pipeline – April 27, 2016
Apple gets much more bang for its R&D buck than Google and other tech companies – November 30, 2015
Massive R&D increase suggests Apple is working on something huge – May 4, 2015