I have no doubt that Apple is working on an AR/VR headset ("Apple Glasses"), but am still skeptical that the tech giant plans to build a full blown car. However, in a note to clients — as reported by AppleInsider — well known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts we’ll see the latter by 2025, and the former in 2020.
He offers no details on an Apple Car beyond saying it will drive out between 2023 and 2025. Kuo doesn’t say how he arrived at that prediction, but opines that the Apple Car will revolutionize the auto industry the way the iPhone did the smartphone market.
Regarding the Apple Glasses, augmented reality/virtual reality headset, Kuo says: “Apple has always grown significantly after redefining existing and new products by innovating its UIs (e.g. Mac's mouse, iPod's click wheel and iPhone's multi-touch) in the past. We expect Apple will redefine the UIs of existing products by offering an AR experience created by the AR glass, which will likely be launched in 2020."
He concludes that Apple's quickly growing services arm, AR futures and its secretive Apple Car project are poised to propel the company toward a $2 trillion valuation.
Apple’s self-driving car prospects have involved Project Titan, the car development program that started three years ago. However, Apple changed course in 2016 to focus on the tech. Since then, I’ve felt that Apple won’t actually build its own automobiles, but will work with other manufactures to implement technologies such as enhanced CarPlay into their vehicles.
However, I could be wrong. If I am, let’s hope that Apple really gets innovative with an Apple Car (especially as I’ll never be able to afford one). In August 2017, Business Insider said Apple had originally planned to build its own automobile by rethinking every detail of today's car, such as replacing traditional car wheels with spherical wheels, ditching the gas pedal, and adding virtual reality into internal displays. Perhaps those plans have been revived.
When it comes to Apple Glasses, some reports say it will include an 8K display for each eye and won’t have to be tethered to a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. A CNET source says Apple's headset would connect to a dedicated box using a high-speed, short-range wireless technology. The box, which would be powered by a custom Apple processor more powerful than anything currently available, would act as the brain for the AR/VR headset. Also, users won’t have to install special cameras in a room to detect their location.
Everything would be built into Apple's headset and box, per CNET. Other reports have claimed that the Apple Glasses could have a custom-build Apple chip and a dedicated operating system dubbed “rOS” for “reality operating system.”
Apple has applied for several Apple patent filings involving VR and AR headsets. You can find some here.