A recent research note by well-connected TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicates Apple has plans to release its long-rumored mixed reality headset “in mid-2022” and augmented reality glasses in 2025 at the earliest.
“We predict that Apple’s MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030–2040,” wrote Kuo in the note shared by MacRumors. “We foresee that the helmet product will provide AR and VR experiences, while glasses and contact lens types of products are more likely to focus on AR applications.”
Kuo believes Apple’s headset has the potential to provide an “immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products.”
Kuo said that while several prototypes of Apple’s mixed reality headset currently weigh in at 200 to 300 grams. However, the final weight will be reduced to 100 to 200 grams if Apple can solve technical problems. That means they would weigh in as considerably lighter than existing VR headsets.
Kuo also expects the headset to be priced at around $1,000 in the United States.
Kuo says the headset, which will be “portable” with independent power and storage,” will boast Sony Micro-LED displays several optical modules to provide a “see-through AR experience,” adding that the headset can “also offer a VR experience.”
While the headset will be “portable,” it will not be truly “mobile” like an iPhone. Kup says that when technology improves, the new product’s mobility can be enhanced.
As for Apple’s augmented reality glasses project, Kuo expects the AR glasses to hit shelves in 2025 at the earliest. He also believes no prototype is yet available.
Kuo says the glasses will provide an “optical see-through AR experience,” and will be more of a “mobile” experience than the mixed reality headset. The glasses will focus more on providing a ‘mobile + AR’ experience,” he said. The “Apple Glasses” could integrate with Apple’s much-rumored “Apple Car” which is likely several years away.