Apple’s subsequent large factor after the iPhone could are available 2022

Prepare for the hype prepare, as a result of it is making ready to go out of Cupertino (once more).

Subsequent 12 months is shaping as much as be a busy one for Apple, if rumors are to be believed, full of new know-how that could be on par with tentpole moments like the primary Macintosh introduction in 1984, the primary iMac in 1999 or the iPhone in 2007.

This time, the important thing merchandise will stretch Apple into a brand new territory: AR/VR glasses.

This undertaking, one in every of Apple’s most formidable in years, is rumored to embody augmented actuality and digital actuality. AR overlays pc info on photos of the actual world, whereas VR locations a display screen so near your eyes that your mind is tricked into considering you’ve got been transported to a computer-generated world. It is just like the distinction between Microsoft’s $3,500 HoloLens and Meta’s $299 Quest. HoloLens is getting used to assist technicians within the subject share info as they’re doing inspections and repairs at oil big Chevron. Quest, in the meantime, is thought for its hit immersive video games and experiences, just like the time-bending puzzle recreation Superhot and the motion recreation Star Wars: Vader Immortal.

A lot of the leaks and rumors have targeted on the headset’s specs, akin to its ultra-fast wi-fi networking and the super-detailed visuals a supply informed CNET it is anticipated to have. However many questions nonetheless encompass Apple’s headset, starting with its title – possibly iGlass? 

Its launch date is a thriller as properly. It was mentioned at one level to be slated for 2020 however now has been pushed to subsequent 12 months, based on sources who spoke to Bloomberg and different analysts. And we nonetheless do not know what utilizing iGlass shall be like and whether or not it’s going to be offered as considerably of an adjunct, just like the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Analysts and business specialists say Apple’s glossy software program, mixed with the App Retailer and on-line providers just like the music streamer Spotify, assist hold the corporate forward of its rivals.

“The explanation everybody at all times appears to Apple is sure, there’s the well-designed {hardware}, however there’s additionally the facility of the app ecosystem,” mentioned Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Artistic Methods. 

Learn extra: Sensible glasses may arrive in 2022, however will nonetheless want a variety of work

As if releasing a brand new product line is not sufficient, Apple’s doubtless obtained different main updates in its pipeline as properly. The corporate’s mentioned to be engaged on next-generation chips for its Mac computer systems, a extremely anticipated redesign of its in style MacBook Air and Mac Professional skilled desktop pc, and a brand new look for an upcoming iPhone 14 as properly.

Nevertheless it’ll be the iGlass that doubtless will get essentially the most consideration as one of many firm’s most essential product launches in years. Apple’s success with new merchandise has largely come from their connection to the iPhone, analysts say, noting that the iPad pill benefited from the present App Retailer when it arrived in 2010. Additional, the Apple Watch and AirPods had been offered as iPhone equipment once they went on sale in 2015 and 2016.


Looking at Apple’s current wearable units may level to the place Apple Glasses are heading.

Scott Stein/CNET

The iGlass will doubtless spark many questions on the way forward for VR and AR and the way it will match into our lives. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sunk untold billions into his Actuality Labs efforts, such because the Oculus VR headset firm he purchased for as a lot as $3 billion in 2014. That effort’s nonetheless round, however the business is affected by much-hyped startups like Magic Leap, whose extremely anticipated AR glasses struggled so badly after its 2018 launch that two years later, in 2020, the corporate introduced layoffs and its founding CEO resigned.

The iGlass will symbolize extra for Apple than attempting its hand at a brand new product class. Many analysts and executives consider headworn know-how will reshape the tech business when it will definitely catches on. And for Apple, which depends on the iPhone to make up about half its income, iGlass may lastly reply the query of whether or not Apple can discover the subsequent large factor – once more.

“I would not have a look at Apple as a lot with the {hardware}, however what is the software program ecosystem?” mentioned Joost van Dreunen, a professor at NYU Stern Faculty of Enterprise and creator of the e-book One Up: Creativity, Competitors, and the World Enterprise of Video Video games. A longtime skeptic of the VR world, van Dreunen mentioned that attending Zoom funerals and youngsters’s birthday events within the world-building recreation Roblox has begun altering his thoughts. And, he famous, Apple is thought for convincing app builders to get entangled with the subsequent large factor. “If anybody can do it, it is Apple.”

Coronavirus phone

The coronavirus has upended life across the globe.

James Martin/CNET

Coronavirus query mark

Apple would not simply have opponents like Zuckerberg to fret about in terms of the iGlass. If it sticks to a next-year launch, it is going to be doing so in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has wreaked havoc throughout the globe, killing greater than 5.3 million folks.

One of the crucial impacted industries has been international commerce, with producers struggling to maintain sufficient folks working in crops and transport services to make sufficient stuff for all of us. Even Apple, which appeared to keep away from the pervasive provide shortages that hit a lot of the tech business final 12 months, mentioned it could not make sufficient chips for its iPhones and iPads to satisfy demand this vacation season

“It is troublesome to foretell COVID,” Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner informed analysts throughout an October earnings convention name. He’d additionally mentioned provide constraints amounted to $6 billion in misplaced gross sales at a time when demand for his firm’s merchandise was at all-time highs. However he mentioned Apple’s nonetheless in a “materially higher” place than it was earlier within the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacts far past the availability chain. Its arrival additionally accelerated important modifications to our work tradition, economists say, pushing growing old child boomers into retirement at a quicker charge than earlier than, whereas additionally inspiring staff to demand extra versatile work choices. That prompted a debate at Apple.

Workers on the tech big took an uncommon step this 12 months, talking out publicly about how Apple’s hyper-secretive work tradition is unintentionally ruining some folks’s lives. Workers spoke each of a generally poisonous work setting and of unforgiving expectations placed on these caring for households amid the pandemic. Many staff reportedly requested to stay largely distant, going as far as to signal a number of open letters to Prepare dinner. The corporate’s management, in the meantime, argued that staff wanted to return to the workplace as quickly because it’s protected.

“For all that we have been capable of obtain whereas many people have been separated, the reality is that there was one thing important lacking from this previous 12 months: one another,” Prepare dinner wrote within the e-mail despatched to workers this summer season. “Video convention calling has narrowed the gap between us, to make certain, however there are issues it merely can’t replicate.”

The controversy nonetheless hasn’t been resolved, although the stalemate was considerably pushed apart by a resurgence of COVID. The omicron variant, which emerged this fall, has unfold so quickly throughout the globe that Apple has postpone its return-to-office plans indefinitely.

iPhone 13 Pro, Sierra blue

Apple’s iPhone 13 earned constructive critiques after its launch this fall, notably for its battery life.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Subsequent steps

Amongst Apple’s different merchandise deliberate for the 12 months are a redesigned iPhone 14, which reportedly will lastly lose its sensor notch by the earpiece. Apple shrunk it with the iPhone 13 however nonetheless relied on the cutout for its Face ID sensors and front-facing digicam.

Apple’s additionally anticipated to introduce new Mac computer systems, powered by up to date iterations of M-series chips designed by the group that additionally makes the microprocessing brains which have powered iPhones and iPads over the past decade. To this point, Apple’s M1, M1 Professional and M1 Max chips, every designed to substitute competing know-how made by Intel, have been properly acquired.

When CNET reviewer Dan Ackerman examined Apple’s latest Mac laptops in October and used them to edit collectively giant video recordsdata, he discovered they carried out the duties in lower than half the time of their predecessors. “You possibly can see an actual efficiency distinction there,” he mentioned.

Macbook Pro 2021

Apple’s redesigned MacBook Execs drew reward from reviewers for his or her speedy chips, higher battery life and added plugin ports.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Now that Apple’s confirmed it might make the M-series chips aggressive, its subsequent problem shall be delivering significant upgrades over the subsequent couple of years. “Apple’s prompted a variety of ruckus and concern and concern amongst conventional tech gamers,” mentioned Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at Technalysis Analysis. “Sustaining that pleasure is tougher.”

After Apple added its desktop-class M1 chip to the iPad Professional final 12 months, O’Donnell puzzled the place else the tech big could be planning to make use of its latest chips, maybe even within the upcoming iGlass.

“It suggests they’re considering in another way about this,” he mentioned.