Apple’s rumored augmented reality (AR) glasses are unlikely to make an early 2022 launch as previously anticipated, claims a new report from Apple’s supply chain.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Apple’s AR headset may have been delayed in testing.
  • Early 2022 launch said to be “unlikely.”
  • It’s unclear when the product could enter volume production.

Apple Glass delayed in testing

Apple’s suppliers were supposed to begin testing the second prototype of the accessory around this time but that hasn’t happened yet. According to a new report from Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes, Apple’s yet to klick off P2 prototype testing for the AR glasses, “which means it is unlikely for the device to begin volume production in the first quarter of 2022.”

The supply chain originally estimated that the Apple wearable could start volume production as early as first-quarter 2022, the sources said. But as the P2 testing has yet to begin, the chance of volume production in first-quarter 2022 is looking unlikely.

DigiTimes in January 2021 reported that the alleged Apple AR accessory had entered the second phase of development with a focus on boosting battery life and reducing weight, but now we learn that the device has yet to reach this phase (P2).

Apple Glass development phases

After P2, the prototype may still need to go through P3 testing, DigiTimes cautions, plus another 2-3 phases of engineering testing before standing a chance of entering volume production. DigiTimes has solid sources in Apple’s supply chain but its track record in terms of reporting timeframes is a hit-and-miss affair so take the story with a grain of salt.

The accessory apparently resembles stylish glasses and allows for interactions in AR with hand gestures thanks to its built-in displays and sensors. According to leaker Jon Prosser, Apple’s first AR accessory should be indeed named Apple Glass, and priced at $499.

There’s also an Apple helmet

Apple’s push into AR and VR is thought to also include a headset that would combine the best of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality and feature two Sony-made micro-OLED 8K displays and custom chips allowing it to work as a standalone device.

It would also have an App Store of its own.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will showcase its first MR headset sometime in 2022. Before him, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple might unveil the MR accessory at an in-person event sometime in the next several months.

It’s said to weigh half as much as typical VR products, sporting an advanced eye-tracking system, among other features, via 15 onboard cameras for pass-through AR and VR.

Image credit: Apple Lens concept by Antonio De Rosa.