Apple ups spending on components by $1.15 billion ahead of multiple product launches

According to Apple’s most recent 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company has increased its spending on components in the June quarter by as much as $1.15 billion versus the quarter-ago period, a tell tale indication of upcoming product launches.

Apple’s prepayment for components is now 12.6 percent of its total third-quarter sales, the highest level one analyst has seen in the last four years. And if the swirling rumors are anything to go by, this year will mark one of the busiest holiday shopping seasons for Apple as the company readies the next iPhone, possibly a rumored mini iPad, the all-new iPod nano with network iTunes connection, to name a few…

Analyst Maynard Um with Wells Fargo Securities wrote in today’s note to clients (via AppleInsider) that the increase in spending is too substantial to be dismissed as the usual replenishing of supplies for manufacturing operations:

The growth in expenses is a strong sign that Apple is securing component supplies ahead of potentially multiple product launches. He noted that historically, Apple’s increases in inventory component prepayments have been followed by what Um called “a solid ramp-up in revenue” in the proceeding two or three quarters.

Also up for a refresh: the iMac and Mac mini, possibly the Mac Pro (though a 2013 update is more likely) and the entire iPod lineup. Also in the works, according to today’s report by iLounge, is a revised iPod touch model with beefier internals and possibly a taller display resembling that on the next iPhone.

The same publication claimed that a pair of brand new iPhone cases are in the works, one akin to the iPhone 4 bumper case and the other sporting a different design said to have “a major impact on the accessory market”.

There are also whispers of a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, said to be redesigned with the Retina display in mind.

Finally, some people are still holding their breath for a full-blown television set from Apple this year, but that product could as well be a few years away for all we know.

Which product refresh apart from the next iPhone are you looking forward to come this Christmas?