According to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Haitong International Tech Research, Apple Inc.’s alleged augmented reality glasses may not appear until 2025 or 2026.
The tech giant’s augmented and virtual reality moves are being closely watched, with Apple AAPL,
Reportedly working on a standalone AR/VR headset and AR glasses for everyday use.
In a note reported by PC Mag earlier this year, Pu said the glasses would be announced in late 2024. However, he now believes they will debut later. “We now expect AR Glass to be delayed to 2025-2026, due to design issues,” he said in an email to MarketWatch.
Apple has been teasing AR for a number of years, fueling talk of the company’s plans for glasses. Citing analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, MacRumors reported last year that Apple AR Glasses could appear by 2025.
Now read: Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts AR will have ‘profound’ impact, downplays metaverse
In a recent interview with Dutch media Bright, Apple CEO Tim Cook described augmented reality as a “deep technology” that will affect everything. Apple is expected to announce its own AR/VR headset in the coming months, with the device likely to be available next year.
Apple has not yet responded to a request from MarketWatch for comment on its AR glasses plans.
The global virtual reality market was valued at $21.83 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15% between 2022 and 2030, according to data from Grand View Research.
But Paolo Pescatore, technology analyst at PP Foresight, told MarketWatch that the virtual reality and augmented reality market is still nascent. “It always looks like a solution looking for a problem,” he said over email. “While there appear to be many use cases, adoption and awareness remain poor.”
Opinion: Apple, more than Meta, holds the key to unlocking a ‘metaverse’ AR world
Still, there’s room for a wearable device that would connect to an iPhone, potentially opening up a “metaverse” style AR world. Thus Apple, more than Meta Platforms Inc. META,
could hold the key to unlocking the potential of augmented reality.
A product focused on smart glasses seems like a sensible approach and would also be consistent with Apple’s focus on wearables tied to its main product, the iPhone, Pescatore said. “Plus, it feels less intrusive and provides more opportunities for differentiation,” he added. “It relies on its growing community of developers and media partners who are now starting to release features for smart glasses.”
“The company has been emphasizing the iPhone as a gateway to the Apple universe,” Pescatore said, noting that might suggest it’s behind on new hardware. “All rivals have sought to differentiate themselves with new product categories such as foldable devices, smart glasses, virtual reality and more,” he said.
But just as Apple technologies such as the iPad and Apple Watch have revolutionized their respective product categories, Pescatore is confident that Apple can do the same with AR glasses. “Ultimately, when the device launches, Apple will reinvigorate consumer demand for smart glasses and the AR landscape in general,” he said. “A new device is sure to provide much-needed excitement to the entire developer and creator communities.”
Apple’s stock fell 3.9% on Thursday, topping the SPX of the S&P 500 index,