Apple has partnered with a Chinese supplier, Luxshare Precision Industry, to develop its long-awaited augmented reality device.
Taiwan-based Foxconn is also involved in the AR project and will work on the development of a cheaper second-generation AR device.
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Apple is collaborating with a Chinese supplier for the first time to develop its augmented reality device. According to Nikkei Asia, Apple has chosen China-based Luxshare Precision Industry Co., Ltd. to help develop the AR device, which has been in the works for years.
Luxshare will reportedly take over the AR development team in Shanghai, previously owned by Taiwan’s Pegatron. With this significant move, Apple is not only advancing its AR ambitions but also strengthening its ties with China’s tech industry.
In similar news, Chinese tech giant Tencent is rumored to partner with Meta to bring Quest headsets to the Chinese market.
Pegatron, a company that has been assembling iPhones for a long time, was the first supplier to assist Apple in developing AR devices. However, their collaboration on this project was sporadic for four years. According to an executive in the supply chain who spoke to Nikkei Asia, Pegatron had been producing Microsoft’s Hololens mixed-reality headset for a number of years. However, the company became doubtful about Apple’s AR plans and ultimately withdrew from the project to concentrate on other areas like automotive and servers.
According to sources cited by Nikkei Asia, Luxshare is eager to secure as much business from Apple as possible and has become one of the company’s most important China-based suppliers. Luxshare currently helps build Apple’s iPhones, Apple Watch, and AirPods.
Taiwan-based Foxconn is also involved in the AR project, with plans to work on the development of a second-generation AR device at a lower cost. The focus for Foxconn will be on automating mass production and improving production performance to help Apple reduce overall expenses.
As per a Bloomberg report last month, Apple has indefinitely suspended its plans for AR glasses. The company initially planned to release the AR glasses about a year after launching the mixed-reality headset, but the plan has reportedly been halted. According to the source, Apple has shifted its focus towards a more affordable version of the mixed-reality headset, which is expected to be released in 2024 or early 2025.
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