Yes, it’s a good bet that Apple will release at least one major new product category this year. Wall Street Playbook’s leading tech analyst writes over at Seeking Alpha that Apple in its last quarterly earnings report revealed a “$2.8 billion jump in commitment for things like new manufacturing equipment, research and development, marketing and product tooling” as well as “a 30% jump in research and development costs, which, in the quarter, reached $1.4 billion, representing a 66% jump in R&D spending in two years.”

All told, Apple has really started ramping up its spending on R&D over the last two years and is plugging a lot more money into new manufacturing equipment as well. If we put 2 and 2 together here, then it seems very likely that Apple is planning a big new launch in the near future that will likely at least start in the fall when it unveils its first-ever wearable computer.

What comes after this, however, is still a mystery. While we wouldn’t bet on Apple launching its long-fabled television set, a major refresh of its Apple TV set-top box is likely in the works as Apple will look to move much more aggressively to get into the online video streaming market.

Whatever it is, though, a $2.8 billion boost in R&D, manufacturing equipment and related expenses suggests it’s going to be big.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.