Apple AR glasses might not arrive as soon as we thought

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Apple AR glasses might not be unwieldy.
Apple AR glasses are reportedly holding in the prototype stage.
Illustration: Apple

Apple’s much-rumored AR glasses reportedly suffered a setback and might not be out as soon thought. The wearable augmented-reality accessory could have gone into production in the first quarter of 2022, but that’s now supposedly unlikely.

AR glasses might be Apple’s next world-changing product. Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says augmented reality could replace every computer display, from desktops to watches.

But it’s apparently not going to happen soon. Manufacturing of Apple’s AR glasses was already thought to be a year away, and the company is still testing prototypes. But that’s apparently slowed or stopped. Digitimes reports being told by unnamed industry sources, “Apple did not start P2 [phase two] prototype testing for its AR glasses as expected by its supply chain partners in first-quarter 2021, which means it is unlikely for the device to begin volume production in first-quarter 2022.”

No consensus on timing for Apple AR glasses

Apple’s work on wearable augmented reality devices isn’t just rumor and speculation. Apple has patented hardware designs. And is hiring AR/VR experts.

But when the head-mounted AR device will be released is seemingly anyone’s guess. Digitimes’ sources are among the most optimistic by saying 2022. Kuo says it’ll be 2025 at the earliest.

Adding to the confusion are the reports that Apple is working on a virtual reality/augmented reality headset. This is a separate product that‘s larger and more expensive than the AR glasses and intended for in-home or in-office use. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports this will be unveiled later in 2021.