Gene Munster: Apple will showcase — not ship — a headset in 2022 (video)

From Munster and Doug Clinton’s “2022 Tech Predictions Deep Dive” posted Friday to Loup Ventures subscribers:

Over the last five years, we’ve made a habit of offering a few predictions for the year ahead. Here’s what we’re anticipating in 2022:

1. Apple and Facebook will duel for the spot as the top-performing FAANG stock in 2022, driven by metaverse’s flight to quality. For the fourth consecutive year we are predicting that AAPL will be the top-performing FAANG stock and will add a twist for 2022. The twist is that, we believe, AAPL and FB will finish one-two among FAANG stocks being that investors increasingly view the two companies as the safest choices to invest in the metaverse. Given that both companies are highly profitable, they will likely play central roles in defining the metaverse. We believe metaverse companies with less earnings will see a headwind in 2022, while the companies building the metaverse will surely benefit from a flight to quality. Loup is an investor in Facebook. It’s a similar dynamic we observed in the EV space in 2021: with valuations of the top three EV companies (Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid) climbing 220% (from last private round earlier in 2021) compared to the Nasdaq which was up about 25%. Conversely, a basket of 10 EV companies with market caps of less than $5B were punished by investors last year, down on average by 45%.

    • Apple’s metaverse opportunity. We believe there is a high likelihood that Apple eventually has a family of products addressing the opportunity and we should see a prototype in 2022. AR or MR glasses are a logical Apple contribution to the metaverse, where we will play and work in more immersive digital worlds. Over the next several years the metaverse will largely be experienced in 2D as it is today with Roblox and Zoom. Down the road, I agree with Zuckerberg that hardware will power more 3D presence, pitting Facebook vs. Apple in a race to build affordable and comfortable headsets through which the world can experience the metaverse…

2. Apple will preview an MR headset. While it won’t be ready for sale, we believe WWDC 2022 is the most likely time for Apple to preview its mixed reality headset. Mixed reality is a level of wearable computing that sits between VR and AR. In MR you can “see” the real word through computer vision, projected to a screen that covers the eyes. While revenue won’t start until 2023, Apple’s headset reveal will be a powerful statement that it means business when it comes to metaverse.

Cue the YouTube video:

My take: The headline suggesting a delayed release comes from the video, not the text. Munster is a metabeliever, but he’s learned not to stick his neck out too far.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    For all of the talk and speculation about Apple releasing AR or VR glasses, all of the illustrations I’ve seen so far look like something Lloyd Bridges might have worn in a 1959 episode of Sea Hunt. I expect Apple to do better. Actually, I know Apple will do better. Now back to our regularly scheduled comment stream…

    December 31, 2021
    • Michael Goldfeder said:
      @Robert: Mike Nelson says hi. “Sea Hunt.” That’s a trip down memory lane!

      On the bright side, at least the current “guesswork” of what these AR/VR Googles might look like doesn’t duplicate the oversized seashell worn by Captain Nemo in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” That wouldn’t sell to anyone other than Andre the Giant and Shaquille O’Neal.

      December 31, 2021
  2. bas flik said:
    untill now ar vr mr market is zero. when apple introduced the iphone the phone market was already huge. i do not expect anything from this “meta” market which only excists in the media. nice for reporters to write about. iphone will do it in 2022. india will be massive growth market years to come. ios worldwide marketshare is only 16%. this can double in 10 years time.

    December 31, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      @ Bas I don’t disagree with you but the VR market is not zero but IS a small niche mostly for gamers. If reports are reasonably accurate, the FB Oculus 2 headset sold ~10M units at rough ASP of ~$350, total revenue ~$3.5B for hardware. The bigger pie is the developers and games or apps that users would purchase or subscribe to, likely to be $100’s of millions or maybe low billions? This would be similar to where smart watches were prior to the Apple Watch. Any Apple entry into this market instantly legitimizes the market and spurs adoption as Apple broadens the use cases and appeal. Of course, cheaper imitators may appear.

      In any case an Apple hardware entry and software sales and App Store commissions will provide Apple with at first incremental revenue which should steadily grow if the product idea is a hit. This is where the developer and game app market comes in to popularize AR and VR uses.

      December 31, 2021
    • Fred Stein said:
      Yes, my sentiments, exactly.

      December 31, 2021
  3. David Emery said:
    Well, the Army has invested very heavily in the VR market. There was a potentially $22b award to Microsoft. (But that’s only if every option is exercised.) The few things I’ve heard is that overall the work has gone pretty well, with the troops accepting the idea. The DoD investment helps Microsoft by funding R&D as well as providing user feedback.

    So we should not not write this market as “only gamers”. Potentially there’s use in engineering, factories, medicine, education (we used VR goggles to walk through our models of Roman buildings.) So I wouldn’t count them out just yet

    December 31, 2021
    • Robert Paul Leitao said:
      David: Obviously Microsoft is a gaming (and cloud services) powerhouse. While there’s definitely opportunities outside of gaming, including vast opportunities in the enterprise market, gaming might be the market to most quickly monetize with revenue volume in the billions annually.

      December 31, 2021
  4. Jerry Doyle said:
    I’m having difficulty understanding the “dismissiveness” of so many on this blog with the idea that Apple is coming forth soon with AR glasses. Tim Cook has been talking for years that AR is the future. In doing so, Tim is inferring clearly that Apple is skating to where the technological puck is going, not where it has been historically.

    Apple is the most innovative technology company on the planet. Apple’s viable role to play in the metaverse would seem understood. No other company is poised more propitiously to contribute unique and innovative products for consumers to work and play in the new immersive digital universe. Dan Ives, Katy Huberty, Dan Niles, are just a few of WS reputable analysts that have staked a claim on AR glasses in 2022, or perhaps early 2023. It just doesn’t make sense they all would go out on a limb that is to break.

    The same dismissive mindset exists with the Apple car. I understand that dismissiveness more so because there are more formidable obstacles to overcome and established skilled competitors with whom Apple confronts. Not so with AR and the metaverse. This is new cutting edge technology where Apple understands it should compete and is poised to excel in doing so. Tim Cook has told us repeatedly AR is the future. He is telling us Apple intends to play an integral role as a leader in that future.

    Apple will come forth with AR glasses in 2022 or early 2023. Apple will come forth with an Apple car sometime around or soon after mid-decade. Why? We talk about the law-of-large numbers. Increasing iPhone sales while good, is not going to move the revenue needle for Apple. Increasing other device sales while good, are not going to move the revenue needle for Apple. Carving out whole new industries in which to compete will facilitate Apple to move the revenue needle. This is why Apple sees transportation as “fertile” ground to cultivate for growing huge revenue in the coming decades. The SAME for the metaverse. This also is why Apple stock price valuation will “swell” in the coming years more than most folk now comprehend.

    Laissez les bons temps rouler! Geaux  & Geaux Crimson Tide & Bulldogs! Back to the game I go …..

    December 31, 2021
  5. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men…

    Interesting graphic you posted there PED. Is it the best mock-up Apple prototype pic you can find to illustrate this upcoming all-in metaverse hardware that we’ll all be thrilled to stick on our melon to experience some better crafted reality?

    Gamers? Fine.
    Scientists? Fine.
    Medical? Fine.
    Education? Fine.
    Engineering? Fine.

    Where’s the product for the masses?

    (from a comment I made on a previous post) —

    However, consider this; Have the purveyors of this new, yet unproven, metaverse thought of the possibility that when today’s screens, innocently in front of us, start to consume/encroach our field of vision with AR (let alone VR), might our sensibilities turn adverse to such an interruption of our true reality, triggering some negative reality-awkwardness alarm of sorts within us that we, as the human creatures we are, would naturally prefer to eschew?

    A tech promise slayed in its tracks by natural sensory rejection?

    Food for thought, y’all.

    December 31, 2021
  6. Gary Morton said:
    Would highly expect that any product previewed at WWDC will be available for the 2022 Christmas season. I guess that is in the next fiscal year for Apple, maybe what Gene meant.

    January 1, 2022
  7. John Butt said:
    In order for Apple to get into the xR market they not only need a product, but also a strong source of innovative software. WWDC is the ideal time to release a version of Swift for xR to encourage developers to play.
    Pre-release hardware may be made available to these developers, but not necessarily.
    Assuming developers are as aware of the opportunity as we are, then I expect some are thinking about use applications already, so development of first apps my be ready for a late 22 release of hardware.

    Speculation I know

    January 1, 2022
  8. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    Which *one* enterprise can tailor processor designs, cloud computing and software with an already established global community of developers and solution providers? This is by no means an easy product to develop and bring to market successfully. I see at this time only two enterprises that might succeed with a product of this kind – Apple and Microsoft. I can see why Facebook is interested and it will require for them to be successful a big investment of resources. From my point of view, Apple is likely to be the dominant player as it enters the market. I’m excited and looking forward to what Apple may announce in June.

    January 1, 2022
  9. Ken Cheng said:
    I need to put on my AR glasses/VR goggles because Gene seems to have aged suddenly.

    January 1, 2022

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