Apple Inc. AAPL 2.02% will pioneer the “transformational” augmented reality revolution as the tech company has been steadfast on AR’s potential and has sufficient resources to see the development of products through, according to Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster.
What Happened: In a research note, the analyst said he believes Apple will first come to market with high-end Mixed Reality (MR) goggles in 2022, followed by more mainstream AR glasses in 2025.
“Even if we don’t see the first signs of MR from Apple at this year’s June WWDC event, we believe the product is currently on its intermediate-term roadmap,” Munster said.
According to the analyst, Apple will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the AR evolution over the next decade, along with Microsoft Corp. MSFT 1.03%, Facebook Inc. FB 0.18%, Alphabet Inc.’s Google GOOG 0.9% GOOGL 0.9%, and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. OTCSSNLF.
The analyst noted Microsoft’srecent win of a contract to provide more than 120,000 HoloLens-based custom headsets to the U.S. military and AR being utilized by physicians to assist in spine and knee surgeries are encouraging for AR adoption.
Munster believes that by 2025, multiple consumer AR glasses will be available from big tech, and the AR experience will shift from being powered by the phone to being powered by wearables.
Why It Matters: Apple has quietly been working on pushing into virtual reality and augmented space for years. Apple confirmed its acquisition of a VR live-streaming startup called NextVR in May 2020 and followed it up with the acquisition of Spaces in August.
It was reported in March that Apple plans to launch its long-rumored mixed reality headset in the middle of next year, followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025.
Apple’s virtual reality headset with the working name N301 is said to be in a prototype stage, while the glasses, dubbed N421, are at a nascent stage known as “architecture.” The VR headset is expected to compete against Facebook’s Oculus and Sony Group Corporation’s SONY 1.79% PlayStation VR, among others.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 2% higher on Friday at $132.99.