Apple Glasses may have just hit a stumbling block, with a report claiming the AR-powered specs have fallen behind their 2021 testing schedule.
This is according to DigiTimes (opens in new tab), which is reporting that Apple Glasses' prototype 2 (P2) testing has yet to begin. While this sounds like bad news, it just means it decreases the chances of a 2022 launch. And based on other leaks and reports, this did not seem likely in the first place.
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DigiTimes previously reported that Apple was about to enter the second phase of Apple Glasses development. The focus of this stage was to help reduce weight and boost battery life, with some suggesting that the glasses could enter volume production as early as Q1 2022.
According to DigiTimes’ sources, the Apple Glasses prototype may still need to go through P3 testing, followed by another two to three phases of engineering testing. Only then will the glasses be ready for mass production.
Going into mass production in early 2022, as originally predicted by the outlet’s supply chain sources, would mean we would be looking at a late 2022 launch at the absolute earliest. That was assuming a best case scenario where Apple Glasses managed to get through the various phases of testing with no issues arising.
But we are talking about brand new technology here. While AR glasses and headsets do exist, everything we’ve heard suggests that Apple is taking things much further than anyone else has attempted up until now. We’re talking about a stand-alone pair of augmented reality glasses that will be designed to be both long-lasting and comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Apple AR headset first, glasses second
It’s not clear why P2 testing has been delayed, though we can probably expect more situations like this over the next few years. After all, Apple Glasses sound like a big deal, and Apple wouldn’t be doing itself any favors by rushing production and releasing something that doesn’t live up to expectations.
But at least we have the Apple VR and mixed reality headset on the way. Unlike Apple Glasses, this one is currently rumored to be arriving in mid-2022. While the headset is still an enclosed VR-style device, rather than an open pair of glasses, it is still said to offer see-through augmented reality capabilities. So it should keep people occupied until Apple Glasses are ready to go.
Which is kind of the point, really. Word is that Apple knows a device can live or die on its app support, and the mixed reality headset is designed to get developers (and to a lesser extent users) ready for the launch of Apple Glasses. So while the headset is reportedly going to be priced out of reach of most people, its launch has a very specific purpose.
Tim Cook has already confirmed Apple has long-term ambitions for AR, and it’s not likely to take any risks releasing sub-par products. So the next big thing from Apple just may have to wait until it's in good enough shape for the masses.
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