Apple and AR: Gene Munster struggles to make the case

But he believes Apple will come to market with high-end mixed reality goggles in 2022, followed by more mainstream AR glasses in 2025.

From “Apple Readies to Pioneer AR Evolution” mailed Saturday to Loup Ventures subscribers:

One of the challenges with building investor excitement around the AR theme is there are only a handful of compelling uses today. We have seen this investor skepticism before, like when the App Store was launched and most investors felt the platform would be relegated to applications that enhanced existing features on the phone, such as the alarm clock.

Another example is when Apple Watch was released, most viewed it as having limited functionality, and a convenient way to read text messages.  The slow ramp in the App Store and Watch functionality taught us that increasing the utility of these devices is in the hands of developers. That’s good news for Apple, given their developer community is flourishing with some 2m apps in the App Store, and those professionals are looking for new ways to add products on future Apple devices.

Below are a few examples of AR applications driven by the phone today:

    • Pokemon Go (gaming)
    • IKEA Place (retail)
    • Wayfair (retail)
    • Warby Parker (retail)
    • Lens Studio (Snap)

Unfortunately, given AR hardware remains limited to phones today, it’s impossible for us to outline the applications developers will build on what will eventually be AR wearables.

My take: That’s a short, uninspiring list.


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    It’s short only because there’s so few thinking about it right now.

    What happens to that list when you have more robust AR capabilities and a couple thousand developers (thinking different) working on it?

    April 10, 2021
    • Dan Scropos said:
      Totally agree, Gregg. And the exciting part is THAT the list is so small. It shows the potential runway Apple has in front of itself.

      When you think about the App Store and the runway for future health apps, you cannot help but get excited. Take a look at both the charges incurred and how much they are the next time you visit the doctor. Not what you pay, but what they really charge. Then ask if that particular segment is ready for disruption. Then think about Tim Cook’s comments about Apple being remembering for their contribution to health.

      April 10, 2021
  2. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    All I know is that LIDAR and CAR ends in the same two letters.

    April 11, 2021
  3. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    And thinking more about Gregg’s and Dan’s words, so does FAR.
    Which is where Apple will ultimately take this investment.

    April 11, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    When the App Store launched, how many saw that Apps could handle all our financial transactions from literally signing and depositing checks to trading securities; Or summon rides for us while providing multiple layers of security?

    April 11, 2021
    • Dan Scropos said:
      Exactly. That’s why the health aspect is seemingly infinite. We’ll look back in a decade and laugh about “the way we used to do things.”

      April 11, 2021
      • Fred Stein said:
        Yes, health. BTW, that’s a $16T business, globally.

        April 11, 2021
  5. Fred Stein said:

    Apple already has 3D effects on flat screens. Might we see 3D cameras on iPhones?

    3D effects do not require goggles or other immersive devices. 3D enhancements can fit into our daily lives and leverage the 1,500,000,000 flat screens in Apple IB.

    3D enhancements driving upgrades over the next 5 years makes a nice uptick to any DCF model.

    April 11, 2021

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