Apple has yet to start testing the second prototype of its rumored AR glasses, bucking the expectations of its supply partners who expected testing to commence in the first quarter of this year, according to a new report.
Apple is known to be working on a set of augmented reality glasses that look like regular glasses, but which feature lenses with built-in displays that can be interacted with using gestures. The current prototype is said to resemble high-end sunglasses with thick frames that house the battery and chips.
According to a DigiTimes report from January, Apple was about to enter the second phase of development of the glasses, with a focus on improving the device’s weight and battery life, suggesting they could move into volume production as early as the first quarter of 2022.
However, a new report from the Taiwanese publication claims that P2 testing has yet to begin, therefore the chance of volume production in Q1 2022 is now unlikely.
The sources pointed out that after P2, the AR glasses prototype may still need to go through P3 testing, followed by another 2-3 phases of engineering testing before standing a chance of entering volume production.
The supply chain originally estimated that the Apple wearable could start volume production as early as first-quarter 2022, the sources said. But as the P2 testing has yet to begin, the chance of volume production in first-quarter 2022 is looking unlikely, the sources added.
A Bloomberg report in January described the glasses as “several years away,” though Apple had initially been planning to release them as early as 2023. A previous report from DigiTimes suggested Apple’s AR glasses would launch in 2021, while Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said he expects a 2022 launch at the earliest.
Apple is believed to be working on multiple AR/VR projects, including a headset with an App Store. In an internal meeting, Apple reportedly said the headset may be announced in 2021 and released in 2022, so it sounds like the headset will launch before the glasses. According to today’s DigiTimes report, Samsung is still on track to launch a pair of rival AR glasses next year.