Apple Glasses could launch as soon as 2026 — here's how

Apple Glasses render
(Image credit: Martin Hajek/iDropnews))

WWDC 2023 is not too far away now, and Apple fans are speculating what Cupertino might have in store for them. While we are all anticipating Apple’s AR/VR headset to be unveiled for the first time, one analyst says that we won’t see the rumored AR Apple Glasses for a few years. 

In a post on Medium, established tipster Ming-Chi Kuo explained why he doesn't expect to see Apple’s AR glasses until 2026 at the earliest. For consumers, this is disappointing news as while the first AR/VR headset is allegedly designed primarily for developers, the smart glasses will be geared toward everyday users on the go. 

Kuo’s argument is based on their belief that the metalenses the glasses will likely be based on won’t even begin production until 2024, with it first being introduced on the iPad to improve FaceID functionality. Should this rollout be successful Kuo’s timeline predicts 2025 and 2026 will see the technology come to the iPhone. The earliest mass production of the metalens needed for AR glasses would then finally begin in late 2026 or the start of 2027.

In the report, Kuo explains Apple sees metalens powered glasses as the ultimate use of the technology so are understandably building up to it first but added “If glasses-type head-mounted display devices achieve success, metalens shipments can experience explosive growth.”

These delays are disappointing but to be expected. There were reports earlier this year that supply chains were proving difficult for Apple and rumors as far back 2021 again from Ming-Chi Kuo claimed Apple is waiting for a full suite of hardware and software for the headset and glasses.

 Apple Glasses: What we know so far

The Apple Glasses are said to look like regular glasses with built-in displays and gesture-based controls. Think high-end sunglasses with their own battery and chip. 

One rumor suggests that the Glasses could cost around $499 (plus any prescription), a much more palatable price than the rumored $3,000 Apple's VR headset could set you back, although there is speculation that the Glasses won't be released until a cheaper Apple AR/VR headset is made. Apple Glasses will likely need an accompanying iPhone to work, however.

By syncing with a user's iPhone, talk is the Glasses will take all the information gathered from your phone and display it through the glasses instead. This could be texts, maps, emails and even games. Apple is also apparently keen for third-party developers to contribute apps to the Glasses. 

More from Tom's Guide

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer – VPN

Andy is Tom's Guide Staff Writer for VPNs and privacy. Based in the UK, he originally cut his teeth at Tom's Guide as a Trainee Writer (go and click on his articles!) before moving to cover all things Tech and streaming at T3. He's now back at Tom's Guide to keep you safe online, and bring you the latest news in VPN and cybersecurity.