As it was revealed in its 10-K filing, Apple has disclosed that it has spent nearly $2 billion on research and development in the first fiscal quarter of 2015. This represents an increase of more than 40 percent over the year-ago figure.
The amount the Cupertino-based company spent in this last quarter is $215 million more than what Apple spent in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 and $565 million more than the expense in the first quarter of the last year.
Apple's most recent 10-K filing says the gain in R&D spending is caused by "an increase in headcount and related expenses, including share-based compensation costs, and machinery and equipment to support expanded R&D activities."
The filing further reads:
"The Company continues to believe that focused investments in R&D are critical to its future growth and competitive position in the marketplace and are directly related to timely development of new and enhanced products that are central to the Company's core business strategy. As such, the Company expects to make further investments in R&D to remain competitive."
Apple does not publicly reveal any information about its research activities, but rumor has it that a good part of the money went into working being done on the Apple Watch.
Also, recently, Japan's Prime Minister revealed that Apple is set to build a "cutting-edge" research facility in Japan. Other locations where Apple could set up new R&D facilities are said to be Cambridge, Shanghai, Tel Aviv, and Cupertino.