The Apple rumor mill has essentially evolved into its own cottage industry over the past few years, in large part due to the public’s insatiable appetite for even the most mundane news surrounding upcoming Apple products. And while most Apple rumors these days naturally center on upcoming iPhone features and rumblings about mythical products like an Apple-branded electric car, a fresh new rumor that sprouted up over the weekend is arguably one of the craziest we’ve seen yet.
In fact, the latest Apple rumor is so far out there that we would have probably ignored it entirely but for the fact that it comes directly from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who undeniably has the best track record in the business when it comes to predicting Apple’s product roadmap.
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That said, Kuo’s track record isn’t flawless, so as is the case with other Apple rumors, you’d be well advised to take this doozy of a story with a grain of salt. Cutting to the chase, a new investor note from Kuo (via MacRumors) claims that Apple is planning to release augmented reality contact lenses sometime between 2030 and 2040.
Kuo said the lenses are “unlikely to have independent computing power and storage,” suggesting that they might rely on a connection to an iPhone or other device, but he did not offer any further details. Kuo said there is “no visibility” for this product currently, so this sounds more like a moonshot prediction rather than a guaranteed product.
As Kuo describes it, a pair of Apple AR contact lenses would essentially serve the same function as Apple’s rumored AR glasses, albeit without a pair of frames.
Truthfully, it’s hard to take this rumor seriously in the slightest. Aside from the practical, medical, and logistical hurdles that come along with Apple developing, selling, and servicing AR-equipped contact lenses, it’s futile to speculate on Apple products this far out into the future.
On the more realistic end of things, Kuo speculates that Apple’s AR glasses could see the light of day sometime in mid-2025. Kuo’s timeline here, it’s worth noting, is markedly different from previous reports we’ve seen. Just a few weeks ago, for example, a report surfaced that Apple would release its AR glasses in 2022 with a retail price of $3,000.
As for what Apple’s AR glasses might bring to the table, reports suggest the device will look like regular glasses with moderately “thick frames that house the battery and chips.”
With respect to functionality, rumor has it that the device will be an iPhone accessory to the extent it will display information in real-time on the display while also allowing users to make calls and engage with Siri.
All in all, it’s no secret that Apple has something potentially big in the works involving augmented reality. Aside from the plethora of rumors and leaks we’ve seen, Tim Cook has been uncharacteristically upfront about how big of a game-changer he believes AR is.
“I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology,” Cook said a few years ago. “So yes, it’s something we’re doing a lot of things on behind that curtain that we talked about.”
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A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.