Apple Inc. AAPL analyst Ming Chi-Kuo made a number of predictions regarding the tech giant’s augmented reality and mixed reality headsets.
What Happened: “The high ASP Pancake lens is the key optical component of Apple AR/MR, directly affecting the visual experience and form factor design," Kuo said in a blog post.
The first generational AR/MR reality headsets will adopt two 3P Pancake modules — one for each year, the Taiwan-based analyst added. The total cost of the Pancake lenses is between $30-40. These provide a “new growth driver for Apple’s optical supply chain in the medium and long term.”
The Pancake lens suppliers for the first generation devices are said to be Genius, the main supplier and Young Optics.
GIS is the pancake lens lamination supplier. These suppliers are expected to be in the second-generation supply chain, according to Kuo.
Kuo wrote that the cost of the second-generation Pancake lenses will rise to improve visual experience and form factor design. Largan would be the new supplier of the Pancake lens for the second-generation Apple AR/MR headsets and expand capability at its Taichung, Taiwan plant.
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Why It Matters: All manufacturers named in the blog post by Kuo are Taiwan-based. Kuo is known for focusing on Apple’s supply chain.
Kuo said the second-generation devices could have more high-end and more-affordable models and will launch in the first half of 2025, while component suppliers will start shipping in the second half of 2024.
The analyst expects AR/MR headset shipments to touch 10 million units as early as 2025 or 2026.
Kuo said last month that smooth switching between the AR and VR experience could be a key selling point for Apple’s headset.
The first generation of mixed-reality headsets have been delayed from the first quarter of 2023 due to COVID lockdowns in China, according to Kuo.
Price Action: On Friday, Apple shares closed 0.5% higher at $147.04 in the regular session and fell 0.2% to $146.80 in the after-hours trading, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
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