Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple to release augmented reality device this year

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report to clients today that discusses what to expect from Apple in 2021. Besides Apple AirTags item trackers, Kuo says that the company will unveil a new augmented reality device this year. (Technically, Apple already has AR devices on the market: LiDAR-equipped iPhones and iPads being two notable examples).

"Apple Glasses" designed by Martin Hajek for iDrop News
“Apple Glasses” concept designed by Martin Hajek for iDrop News

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

Kuo makes broad claims that Apple will release some sort of augmented reality device in 2021. Specifics here are unclear, but Kuo has previously said that Apple’s first generation of AR glasses will be heavily dependent on the iPhone.

Kuo has reported in the past 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.

As for the rest of Apple’s product lineup, Kuo says that Apple will continue the transition to Apple Silicon in the Mac lineup in 2021. It will also undertake a transition to mini LED displays across the iPad Pro and Mac lineups.

MacDailyNews Take: We’d expect to see AirTags arrive by the end of Q1 if not sooner, but the more people (with Apple devices) out and about, the better AirTags will work, so Apple has to deal with COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions affecting AirTags’ performance which may delay launch.

As for the AR device, we expect it to be the first generation smartglasses which will usher in many changes, including night vision. We expect to be able to run with these to have a heads-up display of our pace, HR, etc. which will be much safer than even glancing at Apple Watch when running on roads. Even if we have to go back to the “old days” of toting our iPhones along on runs, we’ll do it (hopefully, Apple Watch alone will be able to provide the horsepower that Apple Glasses require during exercise).

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?”

We’ll be pleasantly surprised if we see Apple smartglasses launch this year as we expect 2022 to be more realistic. They may, however, be revealed in 2021 (at WWDC in June) in order to give developers the lead time required to write apps.


  1. Again I say AR glasses will be revolutionary and a bigger game changer than the iPhone. Apple better not miss the mark on the software, Apple need to make it easy for developers to take full advantage of the hardware.

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