A prominent Apple analyst recently predicted that Apple’s rumored AR glasses won’t debut until 2022. But since then, other noted leakers have said these augmented-reality Apple Glasses will be out next year.
The latest to pick a date for the AR headset is Digitimes. This Taiwan-based publication has sources in Apple’s Asian supply chain, and claims these indicate that “small-volume production” of the iPhone maker’s augmented-reality wearable will begin in the first half of 2021.
The release of these Apple Glasses will allegedly then follow in second half of the year.
Apple AR glasses release date is up for debate
If Apple’s AR headset someday goes from rumor to reality, it’ll allow the wearer to do everything they do now with an iPhone, but through a heads-up display held in front of their eyes. Information will be overlaid onto the real world, not replace it. But there’s an ongoing disagreement about when the device will reach consumer’s hands.
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last week that these AR glasses will hit store shelves “in 2022 at the earliest.” Kuo also bases his comments on sources in Apple’s supply chain.
But that report was quickly followed by leaker and YouTuber Jon Prosser saying that his sources indicate “Apple Glasses are aimed for March-June 2021.”
And now Digitimes somewhat agrees with Prosser, though not about the exact timing.
Laying the Apple Glass groundwork
Apple has never announced plans to make a headset or glasses for viewing augmented reality or virtual reality. But it appears to be preparing for it. The 2020 iPad Pro includes a rear-facing 3D LiDAR scanner to improve the AR experience. This will supposedly be in the top-tier 2020 iPhone models too. Looking ahead, there reportedly will be an augmented-reality viewer built into iOS 14 when it debuts next fall.
Apple recently purchased NextVR, a startup focused on virtual reality.