DigiTimes: Apple Has Temporarily Stopped Developing AR/VR Headsets, Team Disbanded in May [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Update: As noted by Jeremy Horwitz, more details are now available on DigiTimes Taiwan, which reports that Apple has "temporarily stopped developing AR/VR headsets." The report claims the team working on them was disbanded in May and reassigned to other product developments. Original story below.

    Apple has reportedly "terminated" development of its widely rumored augmented reality glasses project, according to DigiTimes.

    MacRumors concept of Apple Glasses

    Multiple sources have claimed that Apple plans to release augmented reality glasses as early as 2020, including well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, and CNET, so the DigiTimes report if accurate reflects a cancellation of a major hardware project on Apple's roadmap.

    DigiTimes preliminary headline

    DigiTimes has a mixed track record in relation to reporting on Apple's future plans, but it appears to be citing another report in this case. However, the DigiTimes story is currently paywalled behind its "Before Going to Press" section, so we'll have to wait for specific details to be made public.

    Kuo said Apple's glasses would be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone. He believed mass production could begin at some point between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020.

    In November 2017, Gurman reported that Apple's headset would run a custom iOS-based operating system dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." At the time, he said Apple had not finalized how users would control the headset, but possibilities included touchscreens, Siri voice activation, and head gestures.

    In April 2018, CNET said Apple was developing an augmented reality headset that features an 8K display for each eye and would be untethered from either a computer or a smartphone. The report claimed the headset would instead connect to a "dedicated box" using high-speed short-range 60GHz WiGig technology.

    Gurman and other sources previously reported that Apple was working on several different wearable augmented reality prototypes under the umbrella code name of "T288," so it is still possible that a product of some kind could be released.

    Apple has been exploring virtual reality and augmented reality technologies for more than 10 years based on patent filings. The company is also rumored to have a secretive research unit comprising hundreds of employees working on AR and VR, exploring ways the technologies could be used in future Apple products.

    Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked up the prospect of augmented reality several times, saying he views AR as "profound" because the technology "amplifies human performance instead of isolating humans."

    Article Link: DigiTimes: Apple Has Temporarily Stopped Developing AR/VR Headsets, Team Disbanded in May [Updated]
  2. IIGS User macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2019
    Those things look horrible from an aesthetic and industrial design standpoint....
  3. johnyslats macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2012
    Leeds, UK
    Oof, that product pipeline starting to look a little less exciting Mr Cook
  4. Pbrutto macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2015
    Eastern PA
    When Tim says “great products in the pipeline” did he mean Apple News+? No car, no glasses, what are they planning that is new hardware? I guess they are destined to just be services and monthly fees now?
  5. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    So Macrumors posts a random generic rendering of smart glasses and you assume it's an Apple design?
  6. gwhizkids Suspended


    Jun 21, 2013
    I'm reasonably sure that the picture is not the final product (or even a current version).
  7. gabehoffman macrumors newbie


    May 2, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Aren't these the whole point behind all the AR stuff? Or at least the justification for the investment.

    I mean that's when it would all finally start to make sense.
  8. melancholy macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2016
    That’s what I heard too. DigiTimes is a reliable source too. Hmmm, tRagic. Probably due to Ive leaving. Apple is failing so hard recently... what an in comp etent comp any. Tim be failin’ and Steve be rollin’
  9. DoctorTech macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN
    I would really be surprised if this is true. Apple has invested a lot of time and effort in AR technology and I think Apple Watch, Air Pods & Apple Glasses would make a great trio of wearable devices to allow people to stay connected while they walk around "heads up" and "hands free".
  10. melgross macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    New York City
    There’s no reason to believe that these are anything other than a file photo. It’s very unlikely, most likely impossible, that the photo is of an Apple project.
  11. jicon macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Terminated? Well, bring on the iPhone 11 then. Surely something to compete with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

  12. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    Yes you should definitely assume the worst when it comes to Digitimes. Their reporting has been so spot on in the past.
  13. Baymowe335 macrumors 601

    Oct 6, 2017
    Likely the same problems as Google Glass. Looks stupid, doesn’t solve a problem, too slow, tech isn’t there.

    Maybe in the future.

    If true, I credit Apple for knowing something isn’t ready.
  14. bbednarz, Jul 11, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2019

    bbednarz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    "It's worth noting that DigiTimes itself has a mixed track record in terms of Apple rumors, so this could be flat out incorrect."

    "It's worth noting that DigiTimes itself has a mixed track record in terms of Apple rumors, so this could be flat out incorrect."
  15. edolecki macrumors member


    Mar 16, 2009
    If this rumor is true, it may have something to do with privacy, addiction concerns, battery life worries, a lack of killer apps, and pricing.
  16. jonnyb098 macrumors 68030


    Nov 16, 2010
    As they should. I always thought that rumor was ridiculous from day one. As much as I love Star Trek I have no desire to be a Borg or wear Geordi's visor.
  17. bbednarz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    "It's worth noting that DigiTimes itself has a mixed track record in terms of Apple rumors, so this could be flat out incorrect."
  18. chrisdazzo macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2006
    Yawn. Focus on products people care about - what makes you think Apple's AR glasses would've: A. been priced for the average consumer, or B. taken off any better than Google's multiple tries? Maybe someday in the future once the tech catches up in affordability and practicality.

    Truly, where Apple should focus their "privacy" efforts next is a branded set of hardware for home security - give us secure, well-made cameras, sensors, and OLED control systems. If priced appropriately they'll sell like hotcakes, and can use the cameras, sensors, and screens Apple already has in its supply chain. Part of me wonders if this will ever happen, though, considering Apple mainly licenses out HomeKit and Secure Video to third parties who do home security pretty well already.
  19. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    TBH, I don't know if many people really would like to ware glasses, especially made by tech companies, just for keeping "heads-up online".

    It's getting too nerdy.

    I feel the same nowadays about the Apple Watch. All those same square mini-iPads on your wrist...
    It's one of the reasons I got a Gamin Smart Watch after owning 2 Apple Watches. I know is personal preference, but my Garmin looks sooooo much better.
  20. CWallace, Jul 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019

    CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Considering this rumor is coming from Digitimes and their contacts are almost exclusively within the supply chain, the more likely "truth" is that Apple has terminated production contracts that they might have had in place to produce these devices.

    So rather than scrapping the entire project, another possibility is that Apple does not feel they are ready to go into production near-term and will continue to develop the product internally until they are. So expect another article from them in a year or two detailing how Apple is preparing to ship these things. :p

    EDIT - Changed MCK to Digitimes.
  21. AlexJoda macrumors 6502a


    Apr 8, 2015
    In that way it makes sense to let go Jony Ive. A company that did not develop new hardware did not need such a guy....
  22. brian3uk macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2016
    Really cleaning house on the leftover Jony Ive BS this week.
  23. Digital Dude macrumors 6502a

    Digital Dude

    Oct 12, 2008
    Arizona where freedom still means something
    Apple continues to act more like Microsoft every day. If something doesn't work out soon enough, they give up! Can't believe how Apple has fallen to just another mundane consumer store. I remember the days when exceptionalism was Apple's mantra. As I type this post on my 2018 fully configured MBP with a flattened-out return key, I shake my head. Can't wait to replace it with a ThinkPad Extream. Conversely, Microsoft is finally making strides with hardware and their software - go figure.

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