Apple is widely believed to be working on augmented reality glasses, fulfilling the long held ambition of boss Tim Cook to disrupt the AR market.
Now, it looks like the glasses could be shown off as soon as March 2021, according to a prominent Apple analyst and technology tipster.
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Jon Prosser, who has a strong track record for Apple news, said on Twitter that he believes the Apple Glasses "are aimed for March-June 2021." He went on to say that he has seen them, and they are "sleek as hell."
Prosser told his Twitter followers that he would be "showing you soon," followed by a second tweet saying: "I also plan on showing you 'Starboard' - the UI designed for Apple Glasses."
In making this claim, Prosser is disagreeing with an even more renowned Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent record thanks to reliable supply chain sources. Kuo claimed just days earlier than the glasses will launch in 2022 at the earliest, and Apple's 2021 will instead be taken up by the launch of a new 10.8-inch iPad and a new 9-inch iPad Mini.
It was previously reported that Apple had told some staff at a meeting in November 2019 that it planned to launch an augmented reality headset in 2022. This, Apple reportedly told up to 1,000 members of staff at the Steve Jobs Theater, would be followed a year later by a pair of smart glasses.
That report came soon after references to augmented reality devices were discovered in Apple's iOS 13 iPhone operating system, suggesting a prototype was already being used at Apple HQ and is run in conjunction with an iPhone.
Whatever timeline Apple opts for, it is already the case that the company is taking its usual slow approach to new product categories. Apple wasn't the first to make a smartphone, a tablet or a smartwatch, yet it quickly dominated each of those markets.
No one would bet against the iPhone maker doing the same with augmented reality, which has had a slow start via devices like the bulky and expensive Microsoft HoloLens headset, and smaller AR glasses like the North Focals.
The biggest challenge Apple will face is convincing consumers to wear a piece of technology on their face.
Apple has been hugely successful in asking us to wear smartwatches and AirPods, but a headset or even a subtle pair of technology-filled glasses will be a tough sell, especially for a company used to selling devices by the tens of millions.
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