2020 will deliver Apple’s ‘most impressive hardware’ in years

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
Next year could bring Apple's long-rumored AR glasses.
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

2020 will be the year Apple unveils its “most impressive hardware in some time,” according to a new report.

Alongside big upgrades for iPhone, Apple Watch and Mac, Cupertino also is expected to deliver its first augmented reality glasses. And they could kick-start an AR revolution.

It’s been two years since Apple introduced a major iPhone redesign. The Apple Watch hasn’t changed significantly since its debut (aside from speed bumps that make it usable). And a lot of fans think Apple no longer cares about the Mac.

But 2020 could change all that. Bloomberg expects Apple to blow everyone away next year with huge upgrades and brand-new product lines.

Big things for iPhone and Mac

The 2020 iPhone refresh reportedly will bring new form factors packing a “much beefier” processor. The phone’s new rear-facing 3D camera will greatly improve the augmented reality experience. It also will be Apple’s first smartphone with 5G, the report says.

Next year’s Apple Watch is expected to bring long-awaited sleep tracking functionality. Meanwhile, a Mac update could bring custom Apple processors to the desktop for the first time. Apple already bakes its own processors into iPhone and iPad, and for years now the chips have been outperforming anything the competition has to offer. Custom Apple silicon could make a huge impact on desktop computing.

What ARM could mean for Mac

Apple’s ARM chips, like the A13 Bionic that powers iPhone 11, are blazing-fast and getting faster every year. They allow us to seamlessly edit 4K videos on the go, and they put console-quality gaming in our pockets.

They are also incredibly efficient, designed to have as little impact as possible on battery life. That would make them ideal for portable computers like the MacBook.

In many ways, Apple’s chips are far superior to the Intel CPUs currently inside the Mac. And we’ve all been excited to see what Apple can do with ARM chips in desktop machines. But a new Mac running on Apple chips might not be the most exciting product Cupertino has up its sleeve for 2020.

Apple’s first AR glasses

It is also believed Apple will launch its first AR glasses next year. They will have holographic displays in their lenses, Bloomberg says, and will sync with iPhone to display your notifications. The Apple glasses also will let you access maps and directions, and bring your games to life in the real world.

Apple is “hiring experts in graphics and game development to establish the glasses as the leader in a new product category and, if all goes perfectly, an eventual successor to the iPhone,” the report adds.

However, as Bloomberg points out, that’s a big if.

AR glasses still a work in progress

Apple has not yet established a killer feature that will make its AR glasses a must-have device, sources say. And if that remains the case, Apple could hold back the glasses while development continues.

Assuming Apple can deliver AR glasses in 2020, as also predicted by reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, AR could really take off in a big way next year.

Apple continues pushing to take AR mainstream with things like ARKit, the platform that makes it easier for developers to build AR apps for iOS. But without a headset, the technology remains somewhat limited.

It seems there will be a lot to look forward to next year if you’re an Apple fan. You might want to start saving if you haven’t already.