A DigiTimes report claims that Apple has terminated the development of its AR glasses.
The report claims that Apple has temporarily stopped work on its AR/VR glasses, with the team being disbanded in May and assigned to other projects.
Previous rumors have claimed that Apple’s AR glasses could go into mass production either at the end of this year or Q1 next year. The glasses are reportedly set for a 2020 unveiling, though given that they are still in development stages, a delay is always possible.
DigiTimes has a flaky record when it comes to Apple rumors. While it has managed to get a few things right, on most occasions it ends up making inaccurate predictions.
Apple has been heavily investing in ARKit to push AR/VR apps. So it is unlikely that the company will give up on its AR glasses. If anything, the company might have delayed the launch of its AR glasses but it seems unlikely to me that it would give up on them altogether.
Reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple is working on AR glasses which would be marketed as an iPhone accessory instead of being sold as a separate device. The AR glasses would rely on the iPhone for all the heavy lifting and only show information on its 8K display. A rumor from last year claimed that the AR glasses would run on a custom OS called ‘rOS’ and that it would be powered by a custom low-power processor.
Apple has also added support for AR headsets in internal iOS 13 builds so it is unlikely that it would now cancel the project altogether. If the Digitimes report is indeed true, it is possible that Apple hit a major roadblock which forced it to terminate the AR glasses project altogether.
Given how bullish Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is about AR though, I doubt that the company would give up on AR glasses altogether. If anything, I believe that Apple’s AR Glasses are going to be its next major hit product after iPhones, iPads, and AirPods.