Rumors of Apple developing smartglasses have persisted as prophecy since 2016, but the arrival of what many herald as the savior of augmented reality have eluded even Nostradamus himself.
However, the latest reading of the tea leaves leads us to believe the day may come sooner rather than later.
Now, what the "second phase" means is a bit ambiguous. However, when lined up with other leaks, it's enough to lend some optimism to an imminent arrival. For instance, iOS 13 code pointed to hints of AR headset in testing circa 2019. This lined up with reports that Apple had initially planned to ship a more immersive AR headset followed by smartglasses, though subsequent reports now indicate plans for a more immersive device have been scrapped for an all-inclusive but less powerful wearable.
Prognostications on the arrival of Apple's AR wearables have ranged from 2020, which was clearly missed (and now just another bullet point to that bummer of a year), to as late as 2023. However, more recent reports have pegged Apple's AR device debut for later this year.
Because nature abhors a vacuum, the persistent reports have produced numerous concepts on what the device could look like, such as the futuristic concept design we covered back in 2019.
All things considered, we may still not know the exact timeline of when the elusive hardware will land. In the meantime, Apple has developed a software ecosystem with ARKit and smartphone components like LIDAR sensors that point to the eventual hands-free future.