The much-rumored Apple AR headset has reportedly just exited prototyping, about to enter mass production.
Leading industry experts and analysts suspecting an announcement in 2022 and a launch in 2023. After which, the AR market will explode in market potential and sophistication.
What is the speculation around the Apple AR headset?
The Taiwan digital and technology news outlet, DigiTimes, carried out some investigative journalism and found through supply chain digging in Taiwan and China that Apple will announce their long-awaited AR HMD next year, 2022, and possibly release it in 2023.
What Apple will launch are two AR headsets:
- A consumer headset with a lower price tag, which requires a connection to an iPhone.
- An enterprise launch, speculated to be between $2,000 and $3,000 from the materials and components found in the supply chain investigation.
The estimation comes because the alleged AR headset lineup just exited what is known as “P2”. The second phase of prototype testing. Moving on to EVT (Engineering Verification Tests), the stage before the mass production phase.
But Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports that the final design decisions for the AR products are not yet finalized. Specifically, Apple is yet to be satisfied with heat dissipation, overall weight, and battery life. This is grounding the reason why the launch likely not will land in 2022 but 2023.
The same Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, stated earlier this year that the Apple headsets will have 15 camera modules used for different purposes:
- Eight cameras for see-through augmented reality experiences
- Six modules for innovative biometrics
- One for environmental detection
What will this entail for the AR market?
This insight comes after the broadly agreed upon “safe” launch Apple did of the new iPhone 13 and all its iterations. Coinciding with the increasing change Apple has performed over the past 10-years, after the passing of Steve Jobs.
The General criticism is that Apple no longer is an industry innovator but rather a ‘market introducer’. Basing their strategies on incremental upgrades in line with many of their product’s ‘Mature’ market position, an overall known product strategy of product extensions based on their ‘Cash Cow’ position and overall market leader status. But it also has to do with one notable factor: being an industry innovator is incredibly capital intensive. A major innovator within the technology industry and a close competitor to Apple is Samsung.
The role of Samsung as the industry innovator results in high Research & Development costs and complications of on-boarding first-movers to these novel features and product introductions. Therefore, Apple with its considerable loyal customer base does not need to be an innovator any longer. They watch the market for promising novel ideas. They decide which are profitable and polish them up. Then they repackage them with the Apple logo, design image, and brand value. A very lucrative strategy.
What this preamble means is that whatever Apple decides to introduce – whether it being a smartwatch or a key-finder – broadens the scope of that product category, as it increases the potential market for these new product categories tenfold and entices “industry followers”.
In other words, Apple entering AR means that not just the market for AR will significantly increase. The auxiliary products and services attached to AR will also increase. As a result, accelerating the adoption and industry of AR to the next level, bringing competition to the industry-leading headsets such as Varjo XR-3 and Microsoft Hololens 2.