Apple's recent smartphone market shares have started to decline, but the rumor mill has now its sights set on the much talked-about iPhone 7. As new renders pop up, there is also more reason to believe that Apple is intent on pushing its products further as its research and development spending suggests something massive may be on the way.

Apple has always remained tight-lipped about its ventures, offering details only when necessary on official announcements. Nonetheless, the company cannot hide all of its activities fully. Recently, the company has been in the spotlight for its R&D spending suggesting that it should be planning something massive.

According to the figures, Apple has spent $500 million more on its quarterly R&D expense than the previous year. To gain further perspective, estimates place the iPhone development to cost as much as $150 million. The recent increase in R&D spending could only reportedly mean Apple's continuous addition of processes and talents for further initiatives, possibly personal transport. However, it is too early to tell whether "transportation initiatives" from the estimates refers exactly to an Apple vehicle as the company may also be working on other transport-related components.

Apple's estimated $10 billion R&D annual spending is a clear cut indication of the company's intent to move past its current offerings while maintaining its edge. On top of speculations that Apple is planning something massive as well as a new product category come more expectations of its iPhone 7 series.

Several iPhone 7 renders have emerged, showing a redesigned home button. The current concept is based on a patent just awarded to Apple, allowing a fingerprint-sending layer to be embedded in the display. Other details include bare minimum bezels, proximity sensor and front-facing camera. The Apple logo is illuminated on the back, which users can deactivate from Settings, according to the concept. Since Apple just acquired the camera company Linx, more powerful camera settings are also expected for the next iPhone. Apple has not announced the official details of its next smartphone unit, so every concept should be taken with a grain of salt until further notice.

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