Kuo: Apple's AR Headset to Launch in Second Quarter of 2020

Apple's augmented reality headset will enter mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year in time for an early 2020 launch, according to a new report out today from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and seen by MacRumors.

An Apple Glasses mockup

In his latest research note with TF International Securities, the analyst says Apple will cooperate with third-party brands to launch its first head-mounted AR product in 2020, with Changying Precision tipped to be the main chassis supplier.

A Kuo report in March claimed Apple would launch an AR product in 2020 that could be ready by the middle of next year. However, Kuo has brought forward his predicted time of release and the analyst now believes the launch window for the product will fall in the second quarter of 2020.

Back in July, a DigiTimes report claimed Apple had suspended its AR headset project, but just last month, code found in Xcode 11 and iOS 13 confirmed that Apple is still working on an augmented reality headset of some kind.

Within the internal Find My app bundle that MacRumors exclusively shared, there is also an icon depicting what appears to be an AR or VR headset that looks similar to the Google Cardboard.


Kuo understands that Apple's AR glasses will be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the ‌iPhone‌.

Designing the AR glasses to work as an ‌iPhone‌ accessory is also expected to allow Apple to keep the glasses slim and lightweight, rather than trying to pack in all the processing hardware into the one device.

As early as November 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple was developing an AR headset. Apple originally aimed to have it ready by 2019, but the company was relaxed about not shipping a product until 2020. The report said the headset would run on a new custom operating system, based on iOS, and dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system."

In addition, today's report underlines Kuo's previous prediction that the most important change to the Apple chassis industry chain in 2020 will be the upgrade of the 5G iPhone's metal mid-frame/chassis.

For Apple's 2020 iPhones, Kuo believes the company will adopt a new metal frame structure reminiscent of the iPhone 4, which will significantly increase the unit cost due to the increase in processing procedures and the integration of composite materials.

Today's report from the respected Apple analyst also covered Apple's iPad Pro and MacBook plans for 2020, which we've covered in a separate article.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

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9 weeks ago


A watch is a watch, more plausible. Glasses? No one “wants” to wear glasses.

This is going to be a huge Tim Apple dud.


Airpods were going to be a dud. The Apple Watch was going to be a dud. Notched phones were going to be a dud.

Same goes for iPod and iPad from the Jobs era. All duds according to Mac Rumors readers.
Rating: 14 Votes
9 weeks ago


What are the use cases of this hypothetical device for the average consumer? I don’t see anything I’d use them for.


This is exactly what people asked about smartwatches a few years ago.
Rating: 13 Votes
9 weeks ago


Apple AR will be a huge failure without any onboard SoC and need extra device to be usable. The user might not like to carry an extra device.

Yes, I hardly know anyone who carries their phone wherever they go.
Rating: 13 Votes
9 weeks ago


Airpods were going to be a dud. The Apple Watch was going to be a dud. Notched phones were going to be a dud.

Same goes for iPod and iPad from the Jobs era. All duds according to Mac Rumors readers.

Mac Rumors readers are a very reliable forecasting device: The stronger the refusal, the more probable the success of a product! ;-)
Rating: 12 Votes
9 weeks ago

What are the use cases of this hypothetical device for the average consumer? I don’t see anything I’d use them for.


Anytime you want to consume AR content but find holding up a smartphone to be too cumbersome and limiting.

Imagine you are hiking and your glasses is constantly beaming directions to your face.

I can imagine a few.
Rating: 12 Votes
9 weeks ago
Why are the AirPods such a success? After all, the iPhone could play back audio via internal speakers and wired (and even wireless) headphones were/are widely available. But the AirPods are very convenient and provide a smooth user experience.

The glasses will have a similar use case: Smartphone and "normal" monitors are widely available, but the glasses will be able to provide a way more comfortable user experience.


* Want a monitor with 2-3 meters diagonal, freely positionable without taking up physical space? Here you are!
* Want to get routing guidance directly in your field of view and additional info about that building/car/person/object over there? Here you are!
* Want to support your aging eyes with variable focus on objects of interest (a.k.a. "Zoom")? Sure - here you are!
* Want to have sunglasses with adjustable dimming levels? Well - here you are!


Vehicle highlighting in traffic (battery-electric vehicles can be dangerous for hearing-impaired persons), reduced neck strain (-> "Smombies"), hands-free video while commuting in overcrowded subways, privacy (no one can look onto your mobile phone screen anymore), individual TV programs for each family member at home without arguing about which program to watch ... - the options are endless!

If Apple does it right, they have a big, big winner on their hands! At first people will complain "I don't wear glasses and don't want to change that now" - just as people complained about wearing a watch when AppleWatch entered the market. And they will complain about the price for "just another iPhone accessory" that can't work standalone and is much more expensive than your standard glasses from the local superstore around the corner.

Eventually people will get used to it and it'll become a new trend to wear glasses again. (Very) longterm there may also be contact lenses becoming available for the die-hard refusers of glasses. And it'll be very interesting to see how the competition will react and offer cheaper, but potentially technically inferior and/or less refined products to participate from the new hype.
Rating: 11 Votes
9 weeks ago
Thank god for real AR, if only so that the Apple keynote events can finally stop having segments where big dumb wooden tables are looked at through iPhone/iPad screens!
Rating: 10 Votes
9 weeks ago
The glasses are ultimately how Apple will move beyond the iPhone which has hit its peak. Our Apple Watches will be at the centre of our digital lives, our most personal devices, capturing data full time and always there at the raise of a wrist for any question or request.

Screen size won't be important for many interactions since essential data can be presented on a smaller Watch screen and UI can happen through conversation like it happens between two people rather than tapping away at a screen.

Three things have to happen for the Watch to replace the iPhone. Condensed processing power in a tiny package, a leap ahead for Siri into a natural conversational user interface and glasses that replace the iPhone's screen for visual interactions.

The first is already happening. The Watch is already more powerful than is needed to run watchOS without delays though more power will be needed to run Glasses from the Watch. On the second, Apple is investing heavily into ML, AI and Siri itself. The final piece, a large screen for contextual visual computing, will come with the glasses. Rather than looking at a screen in our hands, we'll look out into the real world and see information overlaid on objects, people and places. Want to browse through your photos, read through your emails or sit back and watch a video? Look at a blank wall or a table top and that's your large screen, much larger than any iPhone that you could fit in your pocket.

This Watch launch is going to be an absolutely massive shift, as bigger or bigger than what the iPhone was for personal computing.

The iPhone isn't going away but it'll lose its role as our primary devices. The computer on our wrists will take over that role. I can see Apple even de-emphasizing the iPhone brand and shifting it to being a smaller iPad that we can fit in a pocket. Not to read too much into Apple removing the iPhone brand from this year's devices, but that could be the beginning of that shift.
Rating: 7 Votes
9 weeks ago
Luxottica's ridiculous markup on dumb glasses wll be an incredibly fertile terrain for Apple's disruption.

So I highly doubt the "will cooperate with third-party brands" part.
Rating: 7 Votes
9 weeks ago
Just like the Apple Watch, this will be an iPhone accessory with customizable bands for at the least the first five years.

I can't help but the think about the main purpose of this device, I mean the Apple Watch has health, the iPhone has apps, what would the Glasses thing be?
Rating: 7 Votes

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