Top analyst remains confident Apple AR headset will come in 2022

By

Taeyeon Kim
Not too much longer to wait?
Photo: Taeyeon Kim

Apple will launch its head-mounted augmented reality display in the second quarter of 2022, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities.

It will feature lenses built by Genius Electronic Optical, which Kuo says will be the “sole supplier” for the high-end camera lenses in the forthcoming iPhone 13. (Largan Precision supposedly sent Apple samples for the handset’s rear wide lens and rear telephoto lens that failed to live up to Cupertino’s exacting standards. As a result, Apple canceled its Largan orders for iPhone 13 and will give them to Genius instead.)

The 2022 deadline for an Apple AR headset is one that Kuo has put forward before. In May 2020, he said Apple AR glasses were set to launch in 2022 or later. Interestingly, he also previously said Apple plans to debut its first AR device in 2021.

Other reports also claimed Apple is working on multiple products in this category. Apple tipster Jon Prosser suggested that Apple Glass could retail for $499 or more. That would make them comparable in price to Apple Watch. The AR headset would be the first major new Apple product line since the Apple Watch in 2015.

AR and VR heat up in 2022

In his Tuesday note, Kuo suggests that 2022 will be a busy year for AR and VR as a whole. He predicts that Facebook will launch a new VR product in 2022, which will ship between 18 million and 20 million units. Sony also has a new VR device set for that year. Genius will manufacture roughly half the lenses for both of these, as well as Apple’s AR headset. This will make it a major player in this domain.

Apple didn’t explicitly talk about its AR glasses during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. Given how secretive Cupertino is, that’s no surprise. However, some of the technologies discussed would certainly prove pretty handy in an AR headset. For example, the machine learning-aided image recognition technology that can look at the name of a store on a sign and use optical character recognition to understand that and link it to a web address or contact number could be fantastic.

What are your expectations for an Apple Glass headset? Let us know in the comments below.