Apple Glasses Rumors Resurface as iPhone Supplier Tapped to Make Parts for Augmented Reality Product
Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company that manufacturers metal casings for Apple products like iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks, will make parts for an augmented reality product, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Catcher chairman Allen Horng reportedly said augmented reality products "need to look good" and "be light enough to wear."
"Based on what we have learned, [new AR products] need to look good and be light enough to wear ... that makes the casings for such device very complicated to manufacture and there are still a lot of challenges to overcome currently," Catcher Chairman Allen Horng told analysts and reporters in an earnings conference on Tuesday.
Horng would not disclose which company was behind the augmented reality product, but given the comments and Catcher's relationship with Apple, the report has reignited speculation about so-called Apple Glasses.
Apple is reportedly exploring digital glasses that would connect wirelessly to iPhones and "show images and other information in the wearer's field of vision." The company supposedly has prototyped "several different kinds" of wearable augmented reality products, but a launch is still far away.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has repeatedly expressed a "profound interest" in augmented reality, recently said "the technology itself doesn't exist" to make the glasses "in a quality way." He said there are "huge challenges" with "the display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face."
Jeff Pu, an analyst at Taipei-based Yuanta Investment Consulting, believes Apple's glasses will go on sale as soon as the end of 2019. Earlier reports mentioned 2018 as a possible timeframe, but that sounds increasingly unlikely.
Today's report marks the second time Catcher Technology has surfaced in the Apple rumor mill this week. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo on Monday said the company will supply Apple with "more complex" metal frames for iPhones launching in 2018 for the purpose of improving cellular signal and data transmission.