Apple aims to debut its first augmented reality (AR) headset in the second quarter of 2022, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors.
The research report focuses on the prospects of the main Apple supplier Genius Electronic Optical, and notes that the company will benefit from a number of upcoming VR and AR products from such as Facebook, Sony and Apple.
We predict that Apple will launch AR HMD [head-mounted display] units in 2Q22. The device will provide a transparent AR experience, so the lens is also necessary, and Genius is also a key provider.
It is rumored that Apple is working on a pair of AR-related headphones, led by an initial “mixed-reality” device that has been rumored to be launched in 2021 or 2022. It is rumored that a slimmer pair of augmented reality glasses will follow , perhaps around 2025.
As recently as January, Kuo predicted that Apple’s original AR headset would debut sometime in 2021, but in March he had pushed his prediction back to “mid-2022”, more in line with today’s report.
BloombergMark Gurman also indicated back in March that an announcement about the headset could come in the next few months, but there has been no sign of such an announcement, and today’s WWDC main features would have been a good option.
Some of the uncertainty surrounding timing may be related to a potentially long gap between the announcement and the launch of the AR headset. As a new platform for Apple, you may want to announce it a number of months before any product launch to give developers time to prepare. However, reports have suggested that Apple’s first AR headset will be an expensive, sophisticated device that is largely aimed at developers rather than the general public.
Kuo’s report today on Genius Electronic Optical also affects iPhone 13 production, noting that Genius will be the exclusive supplier of wide-angle and telephoto camera lenses for the upcoming iPhone 13 series, at least at the end of this month. Apple’s other supplier of these components, Largan, is said to have failed to meet Apple’s requirements and has been asked to suspend component shipments.
Genius is currently unveiling Largan’s missteps, and Kuo believes Genius will ultimately be responsible for 65-70% of shipments for these lens components, based on a market consensus of a 40-50% share.