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Apple’s AR and VR Devices: The Next Big Thing?

The rumor mill is churning once again, with Apple’s new VR and AR devices speculated to hit the market in the next few years. Will they be the Cupertino company’s next big thing?

Much has been said in the past couple of months about the Apple Car. Some Apple enthusiasts have welcomed the rumored launch of the new product, speculated to happen no sooner than 2024, as the company’s “next big thing”.

But it is likely that between now and then, brand-new devices will hit the market first. A new report on the development of a VR (virtual reality) headset and AR (augmented reality) glasses has just made it to the newsfeed.

What are we looking at?

According to Bloomberg, “Apple is planning to launch an expensive, niche virtual reality headset ahead of its widely rumored AR smart glasses. The first version will be so expensive that each Apple Store might only sell one each day”.

Apple’s wearable device would not be novel the same way that the iPhone was a pioneer in the smartphone category. Currently, the likes of HTC, Sony and Facebook already compete in the VR space with devices like the Oculus.

However, should Bloomberg be correct, Apple’s VR product would likely be better, more powerful, and accessible only to those willing to spend substantially more to own a VR device.

The Apple Maven’s opinion

I am less enthusiastic about another VR headset hitting the market than I am about an “Apple Glass” being launched sometime soon.

Augmented reality to the masses has been tried by Alphabet (Google Glass) and Microsoft (HoloLens). Neither tech giant has managed to turn their products into a big hit.

I believe, however, that the first company to go to market with a competitive product that combines quality and accessibility will have a huge advantage in the consumer IT hardware industry for the next five to ten years, at least.

Whether Apple will be this successful player remains to be seen. But if I had to make a bet, my money would be on the Cupertino company.

CEO Tim Cook and his team have made it clear in the past that wearable technology is an important path to growth. The overwhelming success of the Apple Watch and the AirPods in the past few years seems to reinforce the idea. AR glasses would probably take the product category to the next level.

For now, expect Apple’s financial results to be driven by the iPhone, first and foremost. But give it about five years or so, and wearable devices will probably become Apple’s key engine of growth.

Twitter speaks

I have asked the Twitter-sphere: what do you think will be Apple's trend-setting "next big thing"? Feel free to chime in!

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