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.

apple glasses concept mockup

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.

mockmode b389
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 Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

Top Rated Comments

Jsameds Avatar
59 months 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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
59 months 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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
guitarpanda Avatar
59 months 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.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Neodym Avatar
59 months 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Neodym Avatar
59 months 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! ;-)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
59 months 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation, GameCube, Wii, and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, GameCube, Wii,...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New App Store Delta Game Emulator

Wednesday April 17, 2024 12:19 pm PDT by
A decade ago, developer Riley Testut released the GBA4iOS emulator for iOS, and since it was against the rules at the time, Apple put a stop to downloads. Emulators have been a violation of the App Store rules for years, but that changed on April 5 when Apple suddenly reversed course and said that it was allowing retro game emulators on the App Store. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...