“My fellow Foolish colleague Evan Niu recently penned an excellent column discussing Apple’s skyrocketing investments in research and development,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “In a nutshell, even as Apple’s revenue growth has slowed (and, in the case of fiscal year 2016, turned negative), the company has continued to ratchet up its spending on research and development.”

“Now, even though a good chunk of that now quite large research-and-development budget is probably being spent in service of all new product categories that haven’t yet begun to generate revenue (Evan mentions augmented and virtual reality, and self-driving cars as two examples),” Eassa writes, “I believe that a large part of the growth is also spent servicing of the company’s existing product lines.”

“Investors should always expect the costs to develop future versions of existing product lines (e.g., the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch) to gradually rise,” Eassa writes. “That natural inflation in research-and-development spending is driven by several factors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another thing Apple’s always been world class in is generating R&D bang for the buck. We expect some amazing things are percolating at Apple right now!

What does Apple get for $10 billion of R&D? – October 28, 2016
Analysts: Apple’s innovation will pay off… eventually – October 26, 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