Apple’s next big thing could replace both the iPhone and Apple Watch

“With so much focus on the next iPhone, or updates to the Apple Watch and AirPods, the next big product for [Apple] might be something that replaces them all,” Michael Henage writes for Seeking Alpha. “Apple glasses, or if the company has any sense, iGlasses, have the potential to dwarf other product categories.”

“The AR market is expected to grow at better than 60% between 2017 and 2023. According to Zion Market Research, the AR market will grow at a rate of more than 85% annually through 2021, ultimately reaching $133 billion,” Henage writes. “Normally a 60% or 85% annual growth rate would represent massive opportunity, but those aren’t the most optimistic projections. There are two different reports on Statista, one suggests the market for virtual and artificial reality will reach more than $200 billion by 2022, the other study suggests at least $160 billion by 2022.”

“Apple may be moving toward being a services company, yet last quarter 87% of the company’s revenue came from products,” Henage writes. “Apple needs transformative products that grow revenue at a significant pace. For anyone who doubts that a wearable headset could be a viable business, the regular eye-wear market is expected to reach $178 billion by 2023. To say that another way, Apple doesn’t need to create a market that doesn’t exist, it just needs to give purchasers of eye-wear a reason to buy its AR glasses.”

“Apple glasses would theoretically be able to replace your phone, watch, and maybe your tablet as well depending on its capabilities,” Henage writes. “The ability to replace multiple devices with one is a theme that Apple has exploited in the past to its advantage. When it comes to pricing, paying well over $1,000 for Apple glasses wouldn’t be such a significant ask if it can replace your glasses, as well as replace your iPhone and Apple Watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see (get it?) how far Apple’s AR glasses go toward replacing other products, but once they are released, people are going to want to wear them during every waking hour.

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, we’ll look back at holding up slabs of metal and glass to access AR as unbelievably quaint. — MacDailyNews, July 28, 2017

The impact of augmented reality cannot be overstated. It will be a paradigm shift larger than the iPhone and the half-assed clones it begat. — MacDailyNews, August 4, 2017

Augmented Reality is going to change everything.MacDailyNews, July 21, 2017

Augmented Reality will spark the next big tech platform – February 15, 2019
Apple taps iPhone exec Casanova to be first head of marketing for augmented reality – February 12, 2019
Apple working on new iPhones with powerful 3-D camera and laser scanner in augmented reality push – January 30, 2019
Apple patent reveals ongoing work on micro-LED displays for holographic imagery – November 9, 2018
What’s happening with Apple’s secret augmented reality glasses project? – November 8, 2018
Apple’s Akonia acquisition points towards ‘Apple glasses’ – August 30, 2018
Apple buys Akonia Holographics, a startup focused on lenses for AR glasses – August 30, 2018
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Glasses coming in 2020 – August 15, 2018
Gene Munster: Apple will release Apple Glasses late in 2021 – May 17, 2018
Apple patent application reveals work on eye-tracking technology for VR and AR headsets – April 27, 2018
Apple prepping Micro-LED displays for Apple Watch and Smartglasses for 2019, sources say – April 3, 2018
Apple CEO Cook on the future of fashion, shopping, and AR smartglasses – October 11, 2017
Apple’s AR smartglasses – understanding the issues – August 29, 2017
Bernstein: Apple’s ‘smartglasses’ opportunity ‘could be enormous’ – August 25, 2017
Apple working on several prototypes of AR glasses – August 4, 2017
Apple’s next big move: Augmented reality – August 3, 2017
Apple’s rumored new glasses will be an even bigger deal than the iPhone – July 28, 2017
Apple smart glasses are inevitable – July 28, 2017

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. People are already complaining about how distracted from life we all are by our phones. We are annoyed when someone were with is more interested in notifications than they are in us. Or at least I’m told this is true.

    Glasses would be worse because you never know what the other person is wearing and as such there would be an uneasy sense that they are paying attention to the glasses and not you.

    If they have a camera, privacy issues.

    And who wants zombies walking down the street distracted by new Pokémon?

    There’s a reason Google Glass came and went in a day basically.

  2. I agree. You left out the big one. Driving down the road with the iGlasses on. Deaths will skyrocket.

    As I recall, people wearing the google glasses were beat up in bars since the patrons thought they were being recorded. So, you definitely don’t want to be a pathfinder on this technology.

      1. What makes you say this? Think of the loud whining from iPhone addicted people who wouldn’t be able to see their iMessages instantly as a passenger on a bus, boat, or taxi…. Apple and the tech industry has culturally trained people to be dependent on internet connectivity every millisecond of their waking hours. Why would these companies bother to turn off that addict behavior now?

      2. I agree, present in car systems restrict what’s available to the active driver so don’t see it being acceptable for a glasses based system used in that environment not to do so. How it would be done is the big question, hands on wheel sensors maybe.

        As for the google glasses problem I suspect that Apple glasses would, like the watch be much more akin to traditional glasses. indeed I suspect to make them desirable and again like the watch they will be heavily fashion based. Not sure when that will affect the launch date mind don’t expect them any time soon if that is indeed the case.

        One other point Apple has rather tended to avoid cannibalising its other products with a new one unless it wants to remove those previous devices for something more profitable. Replacing three of its prime money earners with a single device that would sell at a much lower price than those together sounds very un-Apple like to me.

  3. I’m curious about the development, but I can’t get past the creepiness and security issues with the 24-7 “camera on” trolling. So much for related laws…they’re sidestepped now.

  4. Someone had to write an article to meet a deadline and collect a paycheck, it appears.

    First, the hyperbole – no single product is going to replace the iPhone, Apple Watch, and other devices in the near term. There are many technical hurdles to overcome, such as retinal projection, battery life versus bulk and weight, environmental issues such as moisture, rain/fog, etc. In addition, many people do not want to wear glasses, or at least not for a long time. Glasses are also quite visible, so they represent a big fashion challenge – consider the “glassholes” wearing Google’s wearable attempt…

    Second, the illogic – in the third paragraph, Henage states that “…Apple needs transformative products that grow revenue at a significant pace.” In the last paragraph, Henage postulates that “Apple glasses would theoretically be able to replace your phone, watch, and maybe your tablet as well depending on its capabilities” and that “…paying well over $1,000 for Apple glasses wouldn’t be such a significant ask if it can replace your glasses, as well as replace your iPhone and Apple Watch.” Aside from the glasses (is he thinking prescription glasses or just sunglasses?), think about the combined cost of an iPhone and Apple Watch. How would the postulated “iGlasses” grow revenue at a substantial pace?

  5. By the time of its release, Adobe will have shrunk Photoshop down enough to fit into the nose clips and Apple will have released yet another OS, this one for the glasses: glassOS. The input device will be your eyes and it would be controlled by rolling your eyes. Also by your eyes’ emotions: mean eyes, teary eyes, twinkle eyes, mean eyes, anger, happiness, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, envy, etc. By this means users of FCP in glassOW will be able to create, produce, and edit their own movie whose tenor will contain those emotions.

    To adhere to the theme of modularity, each pair of iGlasses would be stackable, either vertically or horizontally. To compete with Samsung’s obsession with foldability, the array of iGlasses would be foldable into a loop in a blatant attempt to appeal, for examples, to those in the diamond cutter profession or dentists.

    1. You can always count on John Dingdong, dingdongist, to come up with some ridiculous nonsense when this alien from Mars should be doing some, y’know, art.

      Unless his art is moronic comments on websites.

          1. Mr Dingler presents as an artist thinks. One may not agree with the artist’s “images,” but they can and often should break the rut of the status quo. We need it. I like it.

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