The buzz surrounding Apple’s (AAPL) AR (augmented reality) headset is getting stronger. On October 21, Bloomberg reported that the company is planning a 2020 release. However, it could extend the timeframe if more product enhancement is required. Bloomberg mentioned that the device would be synced with an iPhone or iPad to deliver messages, maps, and games to the wearer’s eyes.
Apple may also be considering an App Store for the headset along the lines of its dedicated App Stores for the Apple Watch and Apple TV. Last month, noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also predicted that the AR headset might be ready for launch in the first half of 2020.
Advanced features for iPhone and Apple Watch
Apart from the AR headset, next year could also see the introduction of a new version of the iPhone with a more powerful processor. The new iPhone could also feature a 3D camera. Apple has strategically placed a 3D camera in the iPhone to take the AR headset experience up a notch. It’s widely speculated that new iPhones will also feature biometric identification. In July, Kuo signaled that iPhones in 2020 would be powered by Time-of-Flight 3D sensors. He also hinted at the presence of 5G in the 2020 iPhones.
Today, Kuo hinted that the most-awaited launch of 2020, the iPhone SE2, would feature an LCP antenna. He reiterated that the Apple iPhone SE 2 could launch in the first quarter of 2020.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman further indicated that the high-tech Apple Watch Series 5 might finally get a sleep tracker, a much-awaited functionality that will offer users an improved experience. Though there are many third-party apps for sleep tracking, adding a built-in sleep tracker to the Apple Watch could enhance its appeal.
Apple to end ties with Intel through ARM-powered Mac
2020 will also be a debut year for ARM-powered Mac. Bloomberg has reported that next year’s Macs could run on a custom processor to achieve enhanced efficiency and lower battery drain. Earlier this year, Intel (INTC) revealed that Apple could transition to ARM-based chips. There are two reasons why Apple wants to make this move.
Firstly, it wants the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all iOS devices to work closely together. By 2021, developers will be able to bundle iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications into one app called a “single binary.” This capability will allow Apple’s App Store to serve all its devices from a single repository.
Secondly, the ongoing Intel processor shortage issue won’t stop Macbooks from hitting the shelves early.
Adobe Illustrator to feature on iPads
In another piece of news, Bloomberg reported that Adobe is set to launch full-featured apps alongside Photoshop on the iPad. The launch is likely to preview next month at the Adobe (ADBE) MAX 2019 conference, which starts on November 2. The release is expected to happen in 2020.
Bringing Illustrator to the iPad is a mutually beneficial effort for both Adobe and Apple. An alliance with Apple will boost Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscriptions. Similarly, Apple’s featuring Illustrator on the iPad indicates that the iPad is capable of handling complex creative functions. It should help Apple position itself as a laptop replacement. Last month, Adobe launched drawing and painting app Fresco on the iPad.
Analysts expect Apple stock to surge more than 20%
On October 1, Raymond James raised its price target on Apple stock to $280 from $250 and reiterated an “outperform” rating on the stock. Analyst Chris Caso signaled that just as the iPhone 11 led the stock higher in 2019, the 5G-enabled iPhone will boost demand further in 2020. He said, “More stable near-term conditions coupled with the launch of a new SE model in early 2020 create a bridge to the 5G cycle, which we believe will continue to squeeze the stock higher.”
Meanwhile, Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray, expects Apple stock to rise north of $300.
With so many hardware enhancements, 2020 is sure to be a landmark year for Apple. The iPhone maker is leaving no stone unturned to set new milestones and remain a leading tech innovator. On October 18, it surpassed Microsoft (MSFT) as the company with the highest value on the S&P 500.
In a nutshell, Apple’s upcoming 5G launch, AR glasses, and ARM-based Mac will set the tone for it in 2020. For now, we have our eyes set on the company’s fourth-quarter results on October 30 and the launch of Apple TV+ on November 1.