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New Apple AR glasses leak brings way more questions than answers

Apple will launch its first piece of augmented reality hardware in the first half of 2020, according to one noted Apple analyst.

According to the prolific Ming-Chi Kuo, who’ll be familiar to Apple fans for an abundance of accurate predications down the years, says the wearable will arrive between April and the end of June next year.

In a note to investors (via 9to5Mac), he says the device will be sold as an iPhone accessory, with the phone still doing all of the heavy lifting in terms of computing – a prediction Kuo has made previously.

However, perhaps the most interesting element of the Chinese-language note, is the suggestion a number of third-party brands will be involved in the launch.

Related: What is Apple’s ARKit?

Kuo doesn’t clarify on whether this means an array of headset options built by third-parties, or whether Apple is enlisting third-party brands to help it sell a homegrown headset. However, this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

A lot might depend on the form factor. If this is a pair of smart glasses, that can be worn with a prescription, such as the North Focals, Apple might work with existing eyewear companies, for example.

If it’s more of an AR experience-style headset, perhaps Apple will adopt the same strategy as Google did with Daydream, encouraging third-party manufacturers to build their own headsets?

Elsewhere in Kuo’s note, he predicts an iPhone SE2 model will finally launch in the first quarter of next year, building upon a previous prediction. He says it’ll arrive packing an iPhone 8-style design, but an A13 processor.

In a bumper report, Kuo also promises a new iPad Pro with a rear-facing 3D time-of-flight sensor that could be used for augmented reality.

Finally he says new MacBooks with a scissor switch keyboard, replacing the ill-fated butterfly design, will arrive throughout 2020, starting with a new MacBook Pro before the end of the year.

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