As we predicted earlier this week, the focus has already begun to move from Magic Leap back onto Apple's rumored augmented reality smartglasses. The latest credible whispers come from none other than longtime Apple-focused analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Boasting a long track record of frequently accurate early predictions of Apple's moves, Kuo, now an analyst for Hong Kong-based TF International Securities, believes that Apple will reveal its own AR smartglasses in 2020.
That would be a full year earlier than the date predicated by another noted Apple analyst, Gene Munster, who in May moved his prediction from 2020 to 2021.
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Kuo's latest prediction, surfaced by MacRumors, is wrapped up in a larger report about Apple's work on an automobile that would also leverage some of the AR technologies the company has developed. Speculation about an Apple Car (codenamed "Project Titan") has fluctuated in recent years, with some reports indicating that Apple might have dropped its plans to produce an automobile. However, Kuo believes that we'll see an Apple Car on the streets sometime between 2023 and 2025.
Recent reports have also indicated that Apple's smartglasses, said to bear the code name "T288," may also include VR capabilities.
If the new date of 2020 is accurate, that would mean that the recently released Magic Leap One has an even shorter runway to mainstream popularity than previously thought. Similarly, Apple's product would put more pressure on Microsoft's HoloLens, which is said to be getting a refresh in 2019.
But in the case of the HoloLens, the pressure would be a bit lessened by the fact that Microsoft's device is primarily focused on enterprise customers, unlike Magic Leap's device, which is fighting for the same entertainment and digital media-focused mainstream users as Apple.
So far, Apple hasn't officially announced any plans to release AR smartglasses, but company CEO Tim Cook has said that he believes "AR is going to change everything," so the next logical step would be to move ARKit-powered apps from the iPhone to your face.