Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple AR glasses coming in 2020; will require iPhone to do the heavy lifting

“Apple talks about augmented reality at any opportunity it gets, but so far its fierce ambition has only materialized to consumers as ARKit apps on the iPhone and iPad. It has been widely reported that Apple is developing an AR glasses / headset product,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “Today, Ming-Chi Kuo reports that Apple’s first augmented reality product will go into mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, but hedges the timeframe slightly and says it will be mass-produced by the second quarter of 2020 at the latest.”

Mayo reports, “Kuo says that Apple’s first-generation of AR glasses will be heavily dependent on the iPhone.”

The analyst says that the AR glasses will essentially act as a display only with the actual computing, rendering, internet connectivity and location services coming from the iPhone in the user’s pocket”,” Mayo reports. “It is assumed that the pairing will work wirelessly like Apple Watch, but the report does not state that explicitly.”

Apple U.S. patent application illustration
Apple U.S. patent application illustration

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, the iPhone would be the muscle. You want eyewear to be as light and stylish as possible, not big honking electronics on your face. Hopefully we can run with these as we want a heads-up display of our pace, HR, etc. which will be much safer than even glancing at Apple Watch when running on roads.

The possibilities are endless: “Siri, what kind of tree is this?” “Siri, which track is my train on?” Siri, what’s the square footage of this room?”

Note: As iPhone was to Nokia and Apple Watch is to Swatch, Apple Glasses will be to Ray-Ban et al.

Once Apple’s augmented reality smartglasses are released, people are going to want to wear them during every waking hour.MacDailyNews, February 26, 2019

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

Tim Cook says Apple is ‘planting seeds’ and ‘rolling the dice’ on future products that will ‘blow you away’ – March 1, 2019
Apple patent reveals features of augmented reality smartglasses – February 26, 2019
Apple’s next big thing could replace both the iPhone and Apple Watch – February 21, 2019
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


    1. Apple will not be satisfied with selling iPods when they believe they can sell iPhones for 2X or 3X the price of an iPod. Those AR glasses will likely require the newest and most powerful A-series processor and Apple will never put that in an iPod. We’re likely talking high-end iPhone or iPad Pro.

      I can only hope Apple knows what it’s doing to bring back customers, but I have my doubts due to my belief consumers are tired of paying so much for Apple products as they no longer see the value of owning them. I hope I’m wrong. I’ll hold judgment until I can see an actual AR glasses product.

  1. Yes, of course, it will require an iPhone. Another complaint analysts and investors will have as iPhone sales continue to shrink. Apple will continue to attempt to build its ecosystem around the iPhone even as it continues to raise iPhone prices. I feel certain ever more consumers will be buying Android smartphones at lower prices. I just think Apple needs to stop depending so heavily on the iPhone if they’re going to keep raising prices on that product.

    I obviously don’t see many consumers running out to buy AR glasses, so this strategy doesn’t make all that much sense to me. I realize Apple can’t put a whole lot of processing power into standalone AR glasses but is a $1000 iPhone and a $500 pair of AR glasses going to be products consumers are going to be willing to buy just to play with a few AR apps?

    1. The goal should be for AR to work with recent gen iPhones (7 or 8 and up) and iPads (6th gen+). If it only works on latest and greatest then it.
      Similar to to a gaming rig, the better the CPU and GPU the better the performance and graphics. If it can work well enough on a A10 but better on A11,12 & 13 then great.
      I have no idea of technical and processing requirements, this is just my 2 cents.

    1. Cook doesn’t want you to enjoy long service from your electronics. This is why Apple prioritizes “wearables”. They are sealed disposables that Tim will resell you every 2 years. The beauty of earbuds and glasses is they are lost and damaged frequently. Timmy won’t spend effort on cutting edge desktop computers because he mistakenly thinks disposable fashions are more profitable.

      Planned obsolescence is now a thing with Apple. First it was just annoying dongles and occasional software glitches. Now Apple is full on sealing products so upgrading is impossible. When your airpods die, you are supposed to trash them. When the next Macs are ever released, Apple has announced they won’t run 32 bit software even in a slower compatibility mode. Backward compatibility, that would harm new unit sales. Timmy would not like that.

  2. My guess is it will require A11 Bionic and up. The neural processor will likely be needed for this product. So, iPhone 8 and up would support it.

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