- Mason Trinca/Reuters
- For the past 10-plus years, Apple has made billions of dollars by manufacturing and selling the iPhone.
- With smartphone sales plateauing, Apple has been looking toward the next decade – and reports indicate that Apple’s “next big thing” is smart glasses.
- Those glasses are expected as soon as 2022, and Apple’s senior managers are looking at them to become an iPhone replacement “in roughly a decade,” according to a new report from The Information.
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Apple’s looking to replace the iPhone “in roughly a decade,” according to a new report in The Information.
But what comes after the iPhone?
Some version of smart glasses, the first pair of which could arrive as soon as 2022, the report said. A “sleeker” pair is scheduled to arrive in 2023 – and Apple’s senior managers see the headsets replacing the iPhone “in roughly a decade,” it said.
Neither product has been announced by Apple, but the two headsets were reportedly detailed to a packed room of employees in a secret October meeting at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
According to people who attended the meeting cited in The Information’s report, Apple detailed the two devices as such:
- The first device, expected in 2022, is said to resemble the Oculus Quest virtual-reality headset, with a high-resolution display, cameras mounted on the outside, and the ability to map its surroundings.
- The second device, expected in 2023, is more akin to sunglasses, with a thick frame to house a battery and processors. These glasses are intended for all-day use and are a step closer to Apple’s eventual goal of releasing a device that replaces the iPhone.
Previous reports about Apple’s smart-glasses project have pointed to a release as soon as 2020. Apple has reportedly been working on some form of so-called augmented-reality eyewear since at least 2015.
Apple has not officially unveiled any new AR hardware projects, and the company is known to shelve projects at various stages of development. Representatives declined to respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
- Magic Leap
The idea with AR is simple: Instead of looking at your phone, you would see the interface projected within your field of vision. A version of Apple Maps in AR, for instance, would overlay directions on the world around you.
More recently, Apple added foundational AR software to the iPhone with ARKit 3, RealityKit, and Reality Composer – three tools aimed at software developers for creating augmented-reality software.
The iPhone and other smartphones already have some forms of AR through software like Snapchat and “Pokémon Go,” though the tech has not seen wide, mainstream adoption.