The Next ‘Big Thing’ For Apple Isn’t The iPhone 8; It’s AR Powered Smart Glasses Believes Bernstein Research

Ramish Zafar

If there's one company that's always on everyone's mind in the gadget world, it's Apple. Whether it's the company's dedicated fan base, or its critics, folks are always wondering what exactly is Cupertino up to. And it isn't much, if we take a look at recent years. While the iPhone lineup has upgraded incrementally, the wait for 'game changing' features continues. And while a lot of folks expected the Apple Watch to be a success, it continues to operate just like a fad should. However, Apple just might have stumbled on the next big thing. Take a look below to find out more.

AR Based Smartglasses Just Might Be Apple's Next Big Thing; Even Toni Sacconaghi At Bernstein Securities Believes So

If you take a look at Apple's history, particularly after Steve Jobs' return in the late 90s, a few things are consistent. The first of these is a relentless focus on minimalist aesthetics, courtesy of the Jobs-Ivy partnership. The second, is patience. Apple doesn't like to rush into new markets.

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The iPod's launch is the strongest demonstration of this fact. Cupertino patiently waited until other companies' music players had proliferated markets sufficiently. It then analyzed what made these players a success and a failure. Then, only after it'd discovered Toshiba's storage modules, did the original iPod become ready for launch.

The same is the case for Cupertino's last 'big thing' - the iPad. Apple waited and analyzed what made the then current portable PCs hit and miss. It then introduced the iPad, in a sleek form factor and an easy to use interface. The gadget became instantly popular - with some enthusiasts going as far as to claim that it'll beat the iPhone.

Now, the next big thing for Apple just might be smart glasses. If there's one thing that the Apple Watch and all the other smart watches out there tell us, it's that the wearable market does have potential. But only for standalone gadgets. And if you look at the smart glass market closely, it follows exactly in the footsteps of other markets that Apple has been able to 'disrupt' by being a late entrant.

Tim Sacconaghi at Bernstein shares similar beliefs, especially due to Tim Cook's particular enthusiasm towards VR. Given that its hard to get Cook enthusiastic in public about anything, this is a big signal in itself. He highlights Apple's VR acquisitions over the past couple of years to further bolster the argument. Finally, reiterating our sentiments, Sacconaghi states,

Instead, it is evident that most players remain content to fiddle with prototype and beta products, which are still years away from commercial viability. We believe this state of persistent fragmentation provides a potential opening for Apple. Given the relative infancy of AR, Apple does not seem to be behind any of its competitors from a technological perspective: ARKit appears to be just as capable as any other solution within the AR space.

These developments in AR won't mature on the iPhone 8. Rather, according to Sacconaghi, the tech will mature over the next 3-4 years, when it can be integrated in a standalone product. Of course, launching it on the iPhone will give Apple a significant headway into apps and content - a segment that'll be ripe for exploitation by smart glasses.

Finally, he concludes by noting, “from a business perspective, smartglasses would make sense to Apple for three reasons,” those being a "potential market” that "is very significant,” the ability of Apple to plow a lot of money into refining the technology, and a follow-on market for "smartglasses software / services” that "could also be substantial."

Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

News Source: Barrons

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