Apple Looks Ahead to Augmented Reality

October 26, 2019, 1:30 PM UTC

Next year will be an interesting one for Apple, if this week’s headlines are any indication.

For example, Apple plans to debut augmented reality glasses in 2020, Bloomberg reported this week. People wearing them would see digital effects overlaid on the real world, like directions and text message notifications.

For now, though, Apple’s business is still based on iPhones, the latest of which, iPhone 11, has sold well, according to a new study. Apple is also focusing on Apple TV Plus, the streaming-video service it will release next week that will eventually grow into a $9 billion business, according to Morgan Stanley.

Read on for all the biggest Apple headlines from the past week:

Apple’s AR Future

Apple will introduce augmented reality glasses in 2020, according to Bloomberg, citing sources who have knowledge of the company’s plans. The glasses will have holographic displays in the lenses that will show virtual elements overlaid on the real world. Those elements will provide everything from text messages to characters in video games, according to the report. Bloomberg’s sources didn’t say exactly when the glasses would be ready or how much they’ll cost. Apple didn’t confirm Bloomberg’s report.

iPhone 11 Leads the Charge

Apple’s iPhone 11 is a big seller, market researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) said this week. The firm said that the iPhone 11 lineup—iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max—collectively accounted for 20% of all Apple smartphone sales in the third quarter. Considering the iPhone 11 was only available for 10 days at the end of the quarter, that’s impressive. Apple’s iPhone XR, which the company premiered in 2018, was the top-selling iPhone during the quarter, accounting for 36% of all Apple smartphone sales during the period.

Apple Looks to India for iPhone XR Production

Apple has moved at least some of its iPhone XR production to India. This week, The Wall Street Journal published a photo showing an iPhone XR box that said the device was “assembled in India.” For months, various reports have said Apple would move more of its iPhone production to India, and the company appears to have done it with the iPhone XR. Apple was already manufacturing the iPhone X in India. By moving more production to India, Apple is reducing its reliance on China and sidestepping tariffs on China-made goods shipped to the U.S.

Move Over, Starbucks

Apple Pay is the most popular mobile payments app in the U.S., researcher eMarketer said this week. With 30.3 million active U.S. users, Apple Pay is now more popular than previous leader Starbucks, which has 25.2 million active users. Alphabet’s alternative, Google Pay, is a distant third with 12.1 million users. According to eMarketer, Apple Pay’s number of users jumped 38% compared to last year, thanks to more retail locations like CVS and Best Buy accepting the payment method. Starbucks and Google Pay saw their user counts increase by 8% and 9% year-over-year, respectively.

Apple TV Plus Could Be Big Business

In a note to investors this week, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted that Apple TV Plus, which will debut November 1, will generate $9 billion in revenue for Apple by 2025. The estimate is based on Huberty’s assumption that Apple will be able to attract 10% of its users to the service by 2025, and that all of them will pay $4.99 monthly for access. Apple currently has about one billion device worldwide, so a 10% penetration rate today would translate into 100 million users, or about $6 billion in annual revenue. Huberty assumes Apple would be able to grow the number of users of its devices and services in the coming years to get to that $9 billion mark.

Tim Cook Speaks

Tim Cook was in the news this week. He kicked off the week as the keynote speaker at the Ceres’ 30th Anniversary Gala in New York City for sustainability. Cook’s speech centered on sustainability, telling attendees that Apple doesn’t “see climate change as a risk, but opportunity.” He said will continue to work with its supply chain partners to improve its environmental-friendliness. His speech came just days before People published an interview with Cook about his decision in 2014 to announce that he is homosexual and how he hopes to help a younger generation of children “struggling with their identity.” He told People that being “gay is not a limitation. It’s a characteristic that I hope they view, like I do, that it’s God’s greatest gift.” You can read more from Cook’s interview, which also touches on Apple’s support of immigrant children protected under the DACA Act, or Dreamers, by clicking here.

One More Thing…

Disney chief Robert Iger says he isn’t worried about Apple TV Plus. In an interview with CNBC this week, he acknowledged that at $5 per month, Apple TV Plus is cheaper than Disney Plus’ $7-per-month. But Iger called his company’s streaming service “very, very different” because of its exclusive access to popular Disney franchises, like Marvel and Pixar. He said that Apple TV Plus and others are competitors, but added that he’s “not fixated on the competitive side of things.” Apple TV Plus arrives on November 1 while Disney Plus will be available on November 12.

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