Bloomberg: Apple launches in 2020 include AR smart glasses, ARM-based Macs & more

Rumored augmented reality glasses and a Mac notebook powered by a custom Apple chip rather than an Intel processor are both in tow for launch next year, Bloomberg has it.

Mark Gurman, writing in a new Bloomberg report Monday, says the glasses are expected to have holographic displays in their lenses.

The next iPhone will be crucial for the AR accessory:

The iPhone is due for its first major update since 2017, including 5G support, a much beefier processor and a rear-facing 3D camera. The latter will give the phone a better sense of where it is in physical space, improving the accuracy of object placement in augmented-reality apps, which overlay virtual images on the real world. That could make it easier for users to model, say, the placement of pictures on their walls.

The glasses will overlay images on top of the real world to display text, emails, maps and more over the user’s field of view. The report reiterates earlier feature predictions for the product, like dependance on the iPhone similar to Apple Watch. However, the fact that there’s no killer app yet for the glasses may prompt the company to delay the release further into the future.

The company also considered a dedicated App Store for the glasses.

It has reportedly enlisted help of experts in graphics and game development in an effort to turn the augmented reality accessory into “an eventual successor to the iPhone.” Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first predicted earlier that the glasses would launch sometime in the second quarter 2020, with the product reportedly entering mass production before year-end.

The rest of the article mentions the possibility for a Mac notebook based on custom chips to launch next year, which has been discussed for nearly a decade now, as well as a version of the Apple Watch with sleep-tracking features.

The logic behind an ARM Mac is simple: last year’s A12X Bionic chip allowed the iPad Pro tablets to run faster than the vast majority of notebooks powered by Intel chips. Apple has long been designing chips in-house, including the A-series processors powering iPhones and iPads that continue to lead the industry in terms of speed and power consumption.

In other words, the time is now right for Apple to ditch Intel processors and start putting its own chips in Macs, starting with entry-level notebooks such as the MacBook Air. Doing so would reduce Apple’s dependency on Intel and its unreliable roadmap, allowing for further optimizations that would yield even thinner power-sipping notebooks with all-day batteries.

What are you most looking forward to in Apple’s 2020?

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