The iPhone has been Apple’s signature product since its release a decade ago.
While the iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and multiple Mac revamps have all risen through the ranks, none have come close to superseding the world’s most famous phone.
However, that could change within the next three years, if a Bloomberg report on Wednesday is to be believed.
According to the well-connected Apple reporter Mark Gurman, Apple has the loftiest ambitions imaginable for its rumoured Augmented Reality headset.
Gurman says Apple sees the AR device as the ‘breakthrough product to succeed the iPhone’ and is aiming to ship it in 2020.
According to those ‘familiar with the situation’ the Apple headset will boast its own display, a newly-designed processor and a brand new operating system.
‘Hundreds of engineers’
The report says Apple has several hundred engineers working on the project, with several hardware and software products being developed under the T288 codename.
So far, Apple’s publicly revealed projects include the ARKit tools that were released within iOS 11 to allow developers to create AR applications for iOS devices.
Related: What is Apple ARKit
However, the next step, is dedicated hardware that won’t require an iPhone, according to the report.
Among the challenges for Apple is creating a headset with a power-efficient display capable of rendering 3D video, Gurman notes.
This is where the custom-built processor and operating system, internally dubbed rOS (reality operating system) will come in.
According to the report, the chip will contain the CPU, GPU and an AI processor into a small, single unit that will be easier on the power consumption.
Bloomberg sources say the company plans to complete the device by the end of 2019, with software developers gaining access to a new version of ARKit next year.
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