It is no secret Apple is looking to expand into augmented reality (AR) wearables. But a new report now estimates that the company first Glasses will arrive in late 2021, more than a year later than expected.
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This is according to well known Apple analyst from Loup Ventures.
“We believe AR is real and Apple will be a beneficiary. We expect Apple’s AR theme to play out in three phases,” Gene Munster says.
“First, this fall we expect 2 to 3 new iPhones to join iPhone X with advanced optics for AR (VCSEL arrays). Second, AR apps built using ARKit will slowly become the next gold rush for developers, led by games, e-commerce, and education. Last, we expect Apple will release Apple Glasses late in 2021.”
Tim Cook previously said that AR is an area of interest for Apple, much more so than virtual reality. Although no actual specs have been leaked, it is expected the smart glasses will connect to iPhones for processing. They will show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision.
Munster expects Apple Watch, AirPods, and Glasses to generate some $71 billion in revenue in 2023. This is nearly six times more than the $12 billion this year.
“While these people do not have direct knowledge of Apple’s plans, it is becoming clear that, as a category, AR glasses are a few years away. We’re looking for 10 million units in the first year, similar to Apple Watch’s first year. We’re using a $1,300 ASP, which yields a $13B business and should account for 3% of Apple’s revenue in CY22.” Muster added.
The later date should allow Apple to release glasses that are sophisticated but still inconspicuous. It was initially though the specs would look like Google Glasses, the head-mounted display that was first introduced in 2013. But Google’s failed effort was rather odd looking and ended up receiving criticism and legislative action due to privacy and safety concerns. It is now expected that Apple’s first AR glasses will look a lot more like regular glasses, with subtle hardware elements adding technical smarts.
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