Report: Apple supplier says AR wearable to come to market by 2019

Apple Glasses mockup (Stuff)

Nikkei is out today with a new report that one of Apple’s assemblers expects a “significant AR device” to launch by 2019. Similar to the news last week from another Apple supplier, today’s report doesn’t specifically name Apple, but expectations are starting to build for the company and a future AR device release even though Tim Cook has recently said “but today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way.”

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Today’s news cites quotes from Quanta’s vice chairman C.C. Leung. Quanta assembles Apple Watches and MacBooks, and to no surprise says Apple is its top customer.

Leung shared with reporters that Quanta has been working on an AR wearable project for at least two years and that it would be coming to market by 2019.

“We are working on an AR project and have studied the optical technologies that AR devices have needed since two years ago,” Vice Chairman C.C. Leung told reporters after the Taiwanese manufacturer’s earnings conference. “Currently, we see such a device available in the market no later than the year 2019.”

He shared some general details about the wearable saying it will be a “headset-like gadget with a fully transparent lens that allows users to see through and interact with the environment.”

In the same way that Tim Cook speaks highly of AR compared to VR, Leung said that while VR may be more popular (and affordable) in the short-term, “AR will bring much more applications and create more opportunities than VR in the longer run.”

While this is the second report from a notable Apple supplier in the last week about a possible AR wearable from Apple, it could also be referring to work with another company.

Cook shared more details on his thoughts (and doubts) about bringing an AR wearable to market in the near-term last month.

The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet. And as with all of its products, Apple will only ship something if it feels it can do it in a quality way.

Quanta’s Leung also said that he expects an AR wearable will be successful if it comes in at under $1,000. Meanwhile, Quanta’s chairman Barry Lam believes AR devices like these will first gain adoption among companies and then spread to consumers.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.