Apple will launch its first augmented reality glasses in the second quarter of 2020, according to one reliable analyst.
Ming-Chi Kuo of TF Securities says the device could enter mass-production before the end of this year. The news comes just weeks after one rumor suggested Apple had shelved its AR glasses plans.
Apple has made augmented reality a huge focus in recent years, debuting new technologies like ARKit that make AR better than ever on iOS devices. And that’s just the start of it.
All of this has been leading to Apple’s own AR hardware, which will finally arrive next year, Kuo says.
Apple AR glasses coming in 2020
Kuo reports in a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, that Apple’s first AR glasses will enter mass-production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year. They could arrive in early 2020.
The device will be marketed as an iPhone accessory, and will rely on an Apple handset for computing, networking, and the sensors required for augmented reality.
Apple has enlisted Changying Precision as its main chassis supplier for the glasses, Kuo adds. Other third-party component suppliers and assemblers will also be involved in production.
Kuo previously predicted Apple’s first AR hardware could appear in mid-2020. He has now brought that timeline forward, which suggests movement has increased in Apple’s supply chain.
Apple all in on AR
A July report from Digitimes claimed Apple suspended its AR glasses project.
But Kuo’s claims, combined with references to an AR headset in iOS 13 and images of such a device in the Find My app, made the Digitimes report seem more than a little questionable.
Bloomberg was first to reveal Apple’s AR hardware plans back in late 2017. It was initially believed the device could launch in 2019, but Apple has spent more time perfecting its product.
On that 2020 iPhone
In his latest note, Kuo also reiterated that next year’s iPhone lineup will adopt a brand-new design inspired by iPhone 4. It will be its biggest selling point, alongside 5G connectivity.
Apple’s costs for the device are expected to increase significantly as a result of implementing new processing procedures.