Apple is reportedly only months away from launching an iPhone accessory you wear on your head
Apple is months away from launching an AR accessory for iPhones, according to a new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo via 9to5Mac.
Kuo is an analyst for TF International Securities, and he has previously provided accurate reports about products Apple has in the works, although his track record isn't perfect.
In March,Kuo reported
that Apple was working on AR glasses that would display information dependent on an internet-connected iPhone. The analyst predicted the headset would be mass produced by the second quarter of 2020, potentially beginning by the end of 2019.
In his latest research note, Kuo reports that Apple will partner with third-party companies to released augmented-reality accessories. Whether these accessories will be glasses, a headset, or something else remains unclear; Kuo refers to them only in the new report as "head-mounted AR devices."
Previous reports highlighted references to Apple Stereo AR headsets in iOS 13, which would seemingly confirm that Apple has an AR product in development, or is at least experimenting with one. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg first reported that Apple was working on an AR product in 2017.
Kuo now predicts that Apple's upcoming headset accessory will likely be available in the second quarter of 2020. If this timeline is correct, then it's possible Apple could announce the product at an October event, following the pattern of the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Apple typically announces products weeks, or in some cases months, ahead of when they start shipping.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously expressed excitement for AR. In 2016, he predicted that due to technical challenges, AR would take a while to reach widespread adoption, but it will eventually become as essential as "eating three meals a day." In 2017, Apple launched a set of software-development tools for AR apps called ARKit, and Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek that he's so excited about AR he wants "to yell out and scream."