Earlier this week, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple plans to replace the iPhone with an AR device in 10 years. While it will take a decade for this to happen – if it’s ever going to happen – do you think the iPhone will ever go away?
In the note seen by 9to5Mac, the analyst wrote:
Apple’s goal is to replace the iPhone with AR in ten years, representing the demand for ABF of AR headsets will exceed at least one billion pieces in ten years. Apple’s sole ABF supplier, Unimicron, will be the leading beneficiary.
While reports about a mixed reality headset and an AR headset are still confusing, one thing is for sure: Apple is planning its next big product for announcement as soon as next year.
This AR headset could be the product to replace the iPhone in a decade, and Kuo is betting bigger. According to the analyst, Apple will not only have to sell at least one billion of these devices in a decade, but it will also be a standalone product and not require being paired with an iPhone or Mac:
If the AR headset is positioned only as an accessory for the Mac or iPhone, it will not be conducive to the growth of the product. An AR headset that works independently means that it will have its own ecosystem and provide the most complete and flexible user experience.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been teasing for quite some time that AR is also very important to Apple’s future. In an interview, he said that this technology is “critical”‘ to the company’s future:
“In terms of AR, the promise of AR is that you and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear. Your audience would also benefit from this, too, I think. And so when I think about that in different fields, whether it’s health, whether it’s education, whether it’s gaming, whether it’s retail, I’m already seeing AR take off in some of these areas.
Not only that but a report suggests Apple’s CEO said he still wants to oversee ‘one more major new product category’ before stepping his position at the company.
Although everything points out to an AR future, one thing still bugs me. Different from an iPhone, which is perfect for thousands of million users, an AR headset sounds limiting. From what we can tell from Oculus, Meta’s Ray-Ban, Snap’s Spectacles, and other devices that put cameras on glasses, it’s very… problematic.
They are usually heavy, people get concerned over safety and privacy, some just don’t like wearing glasses at all, and they make some people very nauseous. So, again, will Apple be able to make a device that different?
Although Kuo points to an “AR future,” this doesn’t mean it’s going to be an affordable one. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the mixed reality headset from Apple will be pricey. While we still don’t know whether or how much Apple would charge for a pure AR device, it will probably cost more than the current $1,000 iPhone we all know.
As of now, there are still more questions than answers. Do you think Apple will replace the iPhone with an AR device in 10 years? Do you think the iPhone will ever go away? Vote in the poll and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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