Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is out with a new investor note today detailing Apple’s roadmap for virtual reality and augmented reality products. Kuo predicts that Apple will release a new “helmet type” headset with AR and VR capabilities, followed by AR glasses in 2025 and eventually an AR contact lens product between 2030-2040.
AR/VR headset in 2022:
As for the AR and VR headset coming as soon as next year, Kuo says that current prototypes currently weigh between 200 grams and 300 grams. “If Apple can successfully solve the significant technical problems, the final product weight will be reduced to 100–200 grams,” he writes.
The AR and VR headset will use Sony micro-OLED displays and would have “independent computing power and storage.” This means it would be able to run independent of an iPhone, and Kuo says it will be “positioned more like a portable product rather than a mobile product.”
Although Apple has been focusing on AR, we think the hardware specifications of this product can provide an immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products. We believe that Apple may highly integrate this helmet with video-related applications (e.g., Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, etc.) asone of the key selling points.
In terms of price, Kuo says this headset is likely to be “similar to that of a high-end iPhone,” potentially somewhere around $1,000. This is significantly cheaper than previous reports have suggested, but it’s important to keep in mind that Kuo is a supply chain analyst and therefore doesn’t always have as strong of a read on pricing details.
AR glasses in 2025
Next, Kuo says that Apple will release AR glasses by 2025 “at the earliest” and that Apple has yet to begin prototype production. The key feature here will reportedly be Apple’s custom “optical see-through AR experience” to overlay the AR elements onto the real-world.
Other details here are relatively vague. Kuo says the AR glasses “may have” independent computing power and storage space and will likely be positioned as a mobile product. The production of the glasses and headset would be parallel, which means Apple could sell them both at the same time.
Contact lenses after 2030
Finally, looking to the future, Kuo predicts that Apple will release some form of AR contact lenses after 2030, but there “is no visibility for the launch schedule” yet. The focus here would be on “invisible computing. The contact lenses are unlikely to have independent storage and power technology.
- Apple mixed-reality headset to have two 8K displays, cost $3,000 – The Information
- Apple’s first headset will be the Mac Pro of VR devices – Bloomberg
- As Apple AR headset rumors gain traction, Microsoft details the future of its HoloLens platform
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