Apple’s capital expenditure, or the money it spends on equipment and property each year, has more than quadrupled since 2010. Based on data from Apple’s annual 10-K filing, which was charted for us by BI Intelligence, spending on plants and manufacturing equipment rose to $US11 billion, from $US7 billion in 2013. Apple predicts capital expenditure will leap again in fiscal 2015 to $US13 billion.
Asymco analyst Horace Dediu believes there’s a relationship between Apple’s growth in capital expenditures and revenue growth in new products. That certainly seems to fit the sudden rise in 2010 — that’s when the first iPad launched — but CapEx is also an indicator of Apple’s upcoming production schedule: In 2013, Apple announced it would, in 2014, open an Arizona plant to build sapphire displays, and also finally break ground on its second campus in Cupertino. In 2012, Apple reportedly “overspent” to secure production equipment previously owned by Sharp, which dramatically altered the company’s forecast by about $US2 billion. With at least one new product line debuting in 2015 — the Apple Watch — it’s easy to see why Apple plans to spend so much capital on buildings and equipment next year.