April 25, 2024
Apple Glasses to Launch in 2026 or 2027 at the Earliest [Kuo]

Apple Glasses to Launch in 2026 or 2027 at the Earliest [Kuo]

Posted April 13, 2023 at 2:59pm by iClarified
Although Apple's mixed reality headset is expected to launch this year, its rumored 'Apple Glasses' are not likely to enter mass production until 2026 or 2027 at the earliest, according to a new report from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The analyst predicts that Apple will start production of a new metalens in 2024 which will initially replace the iPad's plastic lens used for Face ID Tx. If successful, it will then be used on iPhone.

TSMC and VisEra are critical process suppliers for Apple's metalens. Given metalens' revenue and profit contributions, VisEra is the primary beneficiary. Should the metalens for the iPad in 2024 successfully ships, iPhone Face ID will adopt metalens in 2025 or 2026 (the latter is more likely at present).

The metalens has a lower cost an reduced height compared to existing plastic lenses. After Face ID Tx, Kuo says the metalens could also be used for Face ID Rx or ToF Tx/Rx. By 2028 to 2030, the metalens could even replace low-end plastic lenses in existing cameras.

Eventually, Apple is purportedly planning to use the metalens for Apple Glasses.

Apple's metalens development has three long-term strategic goals:
(1) reduce reliance on existing plastic lenses;
(2) leverage metalens' technological and cost advantages for product design and sales; and
(3) facilitate the extensive use of metalens in Apple Glasses (not AR/MR headsets) which will go to mass production in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.

Glasses-type head-mounted display devices are the killer application for metalens. If glasses-type head-mounted display devices achieve success, metalens shipments can experience explosive growth.

Kuo notes that Goertek is currently the leader in producing metalens modules and would be one of the primary beneficiaries if the technology takes off.

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Apple Glasses to Launch in 2026 or 2027 at the Earliest [Kuo]
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