How long will it take for the “future” of Apple’s AR glasses to come?
Win 10 in 2017 has its own 3D drawing, iOS 11 in 2017 has ARKit, and Google also has ARCore. In 2012, there was AR “martyr” Google glasses, in 2015 there was Microsoft HoloLens MR glasses, and in 2020, the iPad Pro and iPhone 12 Pro series have been “forcibly equipped” with LiDAR sensors with a weak sense of presence.
You can see it with your eyes closed. Giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google have long reached a consensus on what the future will look like. Coupled with the hype of the metaverse this year, people on earth think that there will be Apple AR glasses next year. But if you turn the time back to 2018, you will find that the prediction of the year is that Apple AR glasses will be released in 2020.
And the real version, we all know now.
As a potential consumer of Apple’s AR glasses and people who eat melons, let’s discuss today how long will it take for the “future” of Apple’s AR glasses?
How strong are the specifications of Apple’s AR glasses?
The animation work “Sword Art Online” in 2012 and the “Pokémon Go” game that swept the world in July 2016 are excellent VR and AR popularization textbooks respectively. Before Apple’s AR glasses, the strongest mass-produced product was Microsoft’s HoloLens MR glasses. The latter was released in 2015, and the current HoloLens 2 official website is priced at 27,388 yuan, and the Industrial version is 38,788 yuan. Those who have experienced it all feel that it really belongs to the future experience.
Microsoft HoloLens, picture source Microsoft official website
The first-generation HoloLens only used two 16:9 screens with a total of 2.3 million pixels. The Intel Atom x5-Z8100 (14nm, 4-core 64-bit, 1.04GHz main frequency) + 2GB memory + 64GB storage, battery life is only 2 to 3 hours . The second-generation HoloLens has been upgraded to a 2k 3:2 screen, Snapdragon 850 (10nm, the same level as the 2018 Snapdragon 845), 4GB memory + 64GB UFS 2.1.
From the perspective of 2021, they are doing incredible work with backward performance.
The specifications of Apple’s AR glasses are several Chang’an Avenues away from HoloLens. According to Ming-Chi Kuo’s report on November 26, Apple’s AR glasses will be a truly “very powerful” mobile device with a dual-processor architecture. Huge data from 8 optical modules and a large number of sensors.
As for the Display part, the specifications are far beyond the knowledge of the technology circle in 2021. It will be equipped with two Sony 4K Micro OLED screens, which can be compatible with both AR and VR. But the actual situation is that the mass-produced Micro OLED screen on the mobile terminal still doesn’t even have a picture, let alone a 4K resolution Micro OLED, and it needs to be translucent for AR display (it was rumored that it was a laser projection solution).
Dual 4K screens are also an important reason why Apple’s AR glasses need an M1-level processor. Because it has PC-level performance, it can operate independently of mobile phones and computers, and supports commonly used software.
As long as you wear a pair of glasses/helmet AR office, it is just around the corner, right?
Optimistic forecast: released in the middle of next year, shipped by the end of the year
In the past 10 years, everyone has become accustomed to the rhythm of the iPhone “released in September and going on sale a week later” (except for the iPhone X and iPhone 12 series). Released at a fixed time interval, and then quickly launched for sale, this is a habit that has continued from the Jobs era to the Cook era, whether it is iPad, AirPods, or iMac, MacBook, no exception.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo both predict that the Apple MR glasses, which represent Apple’s “future”, will be released in 2022. Mark Gurman even vowed to predict that there will be VR glasses and Apple Car behind Apple. Leaving aside the Apple Car that will be in 2025 at the earliest, let’s take a look at the history of Apple’s “PPT release”.
Looking back at the fields that have been “revolutionized” by Apple, you will find that they are as strong as Apple, and they can also play “PPT release”, “draw cakes”, and even abandon pits:
- The original iPhone: released on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 171 days apart;
- Yuanzu iPad: released on January 27, 2010, and went on sale on April 3, 66 days apart;
- The original Apple Watch: released on September 9, 2014, and went on sale on April 24, 2015, 227 days apart;
- The less “revolutionary” iPhone X: released on September 13, 2017, and went on sale on October 27, 44 days apart.
The most outrageous Apple Watch, from release to sale, everyone waited for 7 and a half months. Like the current Apple products, the Apple Watch at that time had been “warmed up” in the market for more than a year. As a result, what everyone saw was the first-generation Apple Watch that was “slow, stuck, ugly, and the battery life collapsed”. “Have been preparing for so many years? Is this all?” This is the common aspiration of many users. It took Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018 to really change the world’s opinion of Apple Watch.
And if you still remember the AirPower wireless charging board that was released in September 2017 together with the iPhone X, then you probably have a deeper understanding of the word “abandoned pit”. AirPower was originally planned to be launched in 2018. There have been many rumors about the release time of AirPower, and then experienced multiple rounds of bounced tickets. Everyone expected that this wireless charging board might be very expensive, but no one expected that Apple would “abandon the pit” at the end of March 2019.
The more innovative the product, the longer the cycle from release to sale. Even if Apple’s AR glasses are really released next year, there is a high probability that there will be a few months between release and delivery.
Is this a “PPT release”?
Answer: Yes, but not quite.
As we all know, in order to win the title of “No. 1”, it is quite normal for “PPT to launch” new machines and technologies. For example, the continuous zoom technology demonstrated by domestic manufacturers two years ago has not yet been mass-produced. The technology of air charging has already been demonstrated by two domestic manufacturers, but everyone knows that it is still far away from mass production.
But Apple is an exception. Apple is a company that pays great attention to surprises at press conferences and has extremely strict confidentiality measures. Since the era of Jobs, the One More Thing at the Apple conference has been a topic that everyone talks about, coupled with the excellent supply chain management of “Krypton Inventory” Cook, except for the few rare examples mentioned above, most Some Apple products go on sale shortly after they are released.
For Apple, the early release of products is more due to the need for confidentiality, application and developer ecological maintenance.
Jobs talked about it back then. He said the reason the iPhone was released six months earlier was to prevent the phone from being leaked while it was being sent to the FCC. Of course, the actual situation is that the original iPhone was not ready in terms of software and hardware at that time, and Apple still needed to test the most basic networking functions of the mobile phone.
For the first-generation iPad, Apple used the time difference of more than two months to improve the system that was still a “large mobile phone” at the time, and collected e-book resources for the newly released iBooks, and at the same time pushed developers to make apps for the large screen of the iPad. optimization.
When the first generation of Apple Watch was unveiled, it was already the era of Cook. At that time, Cook had been at the helm of Apple for three years. Under the tremendous pressure of investors and customers, he “dragged the draft” for more than 200 days, setting a record for Apple.
Going back to the third decade of the 21st century, Apple AR glasses, VR glasses and Apple Car have a high probability of continuing to refresh Apple’s “from release to sale” time interval record.
From release to delivery, why does it take so long?
Ming-Chi Kuo’s report predicts that Apple’s first AR glasses are expected to be expensive, have a complex structure, and have replaceable lenses. Cooperate with many parts suppliers to deal with various technical issues.
Of course, there is also a need for leak prevention.
But more importantly, there must be a promotional cycle of several months to generate interest in brand-new, never-before-touched, and expensive new Apple products. In addition, Apple also needs to obtain the support of developers first, otherwise the application ecology will be impossible to talk about (Apple had ARKit in 2017, and everyone understands the current AR ecology).
So Mark Gurman speculates that Apple AR glasses will be released at the WWDC Developers Conference in mid-2022, and AR and VR application development will be the highlight of WWDC, and then they will be shipped at the end of 2022 or 2023, the time point and Guo Mingji The predictions are basically in agreement.
While AR glasses are complex, they’re nowhere near the Apple Car behind them. While Apple aims to release the Apple Car in 2025, the vehicle will undergo years of road testing on city streets. For Apple, which is extremely confidential, it is impossible to let the unreleased Apple Car swagger through the market, and it is difficult to guarantee that there will be no omissions.
In addition, vehicles have to pass various tests of global regulatory agencies. The production process of a car involves far more suppliers than mobile phones/AR glasses, and electric car manufacturers may become potential imitators of Apple Car.
Here is an analogy to Tesla’s release and delivery cycle:
- Model S released in 2009, shipped in 2012
- Model 3 released in 2016, shipping in mid-2017
- The Model Y was announced in March 2019 and shipped almost a full year later
This is actually the normal state of “new force” car companies. Lucid Motors released a new car in 2016, and it will only start shipping in October 2021. Rivian’s electric van, released in 2018, only started delivering in September this year. So you can’t expect too early, Apple Car is still early.
Source: lev dolgachov
By the way, Ming-Chi Kuo declared that Apple’s goal is to replace the iPhone with AR in 10 years, which means that in the next 10 years, the sales of Apple’s AR glasses will reach 1 billion pairs.
AR/VR may really be a big “game of chess”-but at least by the end of 2021, Apple may not even have the AR/VR chessboard set.
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