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'Apple Glasses' reportedly launching in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest

'Apple Glasses' could arrive in 2026

Supply chain analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo shared a report about Apple's adoption of metalens technology, citing their eventual use in "Apple Glasses" around 2026 or 2027.

Apple is reportedly developing metalens technology to replace plastic lens covers in future devices. It would start as replacement covers for Face ID, then eventually camera lenses and AR glasses.

According to a report from supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first appearance of metalens will enter mass production in 2024 for use as the Face ID cover in iPad Pro. If successful, the iPhone will adopt metalens for Face ID in 2025 or 2026, though Kuo says the latter is more likely.

Ultimately, the technology would be used for Apple Glasses, the augmented reality glasses expected to display content over the real world. Kuo says Apple's glasses would go into production in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest.

Metalens technology is expected to go more mainstream by 2028 to 2030, acting as replacements for plastic lenses on low-end cameras or LiDAR systems.

A Harvard University paper describes metalens as a flat surface that uses nanostructures to focus light. The technology appears to be in the early stages, but Kuo is confident that it will be ready for the tiny lens covers for Face ID by 2024.

Ming-Chi Kuo hasn't mentioned a launch window for Apple's AR glasses project in years, previously sharing that they were due in 2025. That report also mentioned contact lenses were due by 2030, but Wednesday's report makes no mention of the contacts.

This report is rated a "Possible" in our rumor scale due to the length of time involved between now and confirming the leak. Kuo has a strong history of reporting future product release windows, even if those windows slip. Time will tell if this is accurate or not.

The Apple VR headset is rumored to be announced during WWDC in June, maybe. It is the first step to Apple developing the Apple AR glasses Kuo expects could be ready no earlier than 2026.