Apple is reportedly planning to launch the iPhone SE 2 and the new iPad Pro models during the first quarter of next year. The iPhone maker is said to be planning to follow up with AR headset in the second quarter. In a Chinese language report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims Apple will collaborate with ‘third-party brands’ to release its first round of augmented reality headsets which will serve as an iPhone accessory. The report also mentions that the new iPad Pro models will get a rear-facing 3D time-of-flight sensor.
This additional time-of-flight sensor on the back of the iPad will allow to get accurate depth data of the world around them. The feature is being designed as Apple aspires to turn iPad into an augmented reality platform. The iPhone SE 2 rumor is just getting more hype with the release of this new report from Kuo. The analyst had previously forecast 10 percent year-over-year growth in iPhone shipments during the first quarter of 2020. Nikkei reported that Apple is working on an iPhone SE 2 with A13 SoC and a design similar to that of iPhone 8.
It is not clear whether Apple still plans to host a special event this month to launch 16-inch MacBook Pro and updated iPad models. However, the interesting details in the report are related to Apple’s rumored augmented reality headset. The purported AR headset release schedule detailed by Kuo lines up with numerous codes found in iOS 13. According to 9to5Mac, Kuo himself had predicted second quarter 2020 as the launch timeline for the glasses back in March.
Apple’s exact plan for AR glasses remain unknown. It was initially reported that Apple will design AR glasses that are independent of the iPhone, just like the Apple Watch. However, it seems AR headset users will still need an iPhone to use the headset. The design also remains unknown and the big question is whether Apple will make a Google Glass-style device or something aimed at gamers. He also believes Apple will partner with third-party brands to release the first wave of its AR headsets.
The device, according to Kuo, will be driven by the “CPU, GPU and network connectivity of a wirelessly connected iPhone.” The timeline shared by Kuo also suggests that MacBook with scissor switch keys will arrive during the second quarter of 2019. Apple is reportedly planning to transition all MacBook models to new scissor switch keyboard design by 2020. The updated MacBook Pro slated to launch in the fall of 2019 is expected to be the first device to get the keyboard design.
Kuo has a prolific track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s product road map. In the past, he has used names of devices precisely to detail information. This report could thus hint at new MacBook lineup that is different from the rumored MacBook Pro. We might know more details once TF Securities releases English version of Kuo’s report. The analyst believes that Apple will ramp up iPhone 11 production to meet demand by the end of the current quarter.