Augmented reality estimated to be $8 billion revenue stream for Apple
Apple's long-term investment in augmented reality (AR) could generate another massive revenue stream for the company in the next few years.
According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, AR could be "yet another competitive advantage" for Apple and generate between $6 billion to $8 billion in additional revenue from now until 2020. AR apps are estimated to contribute $1 billion and the rest should come from increased iPhone sales due to AR technology. If Apple launches AR-specific eyewear, revenue could be as high as $11 billion!
“We think AR apps will command a price premium,” Wamsi Mohan, senior equity research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note to clients Tuesday.
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch is confident about AR taking off for Apple as there are more than one billion Apple devices currently used by consumers which are already equipped for AR apps. This will make iOS a logical and "extremely attractive" option for developers.
Apple recently showcased ARKit 2.0 at WWDC 2018 which brings a variety of new tools to developers, like improved face tracking, better 3D object recognition and shared VR experiences. The AR software toolbox for developers has been highlighted as one of the four products that led to Fast Company ranking Apple as the most innovative company for this year.
The company is rumored to be working on AR displays for self-driving cars and reportedly acquired AR headset startup Vrvana for US$30 million. Bloomberg reported in March 2017 that Apple has assembled a multi-disciplinary team to develop AR products and integrate some of the features into its existing products.