Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have exhausted all advancements in its iPhone and other products. Is this why the tech titan is investing a lot of money in virtual reality and augmented reality. Apparently, Apple is betting big on VR and AR in order to somewhat give its smartphones a significant upgrade.
Apple Inc. is Bullish on VR, AR
The common complaint that consumers make is that there is nothing really new and innovative in the latest models of the iPhone or iPad. This is something that many brands realize and are trying to change.
One of the ways that the smartphone could be overhauled is with virtual reality and augmented reality. Apple thinks that AR and VR will make a major impact in technology. The latest investment trends at the tech giant show that CEO Tim Cook is very interested in these emerging technologies.
Speaking on an earnings call last month, the Apple CEO said that he finds AR fascinating and engrossing.
“We are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity,” Cook told investors.
Cook’s comments apparently made investors feel at ease. Over the last couple of years, investors have felt that Apple has been apprehensive in adopting or developing new forms of technology. The only concern is that there isn’t a major platform to fully utilize AR and VR. This means that the smartphone would still play a large role in taking advantage of this tech.
It has been reported that Apple has been accelerating its R&D ventures. In fact, its R&D spending is faster than its latest quarterly revenues. Estimates show that Apple’s R&D spending will reach $10.4 billion this year. A lot of this money is going into AR and VR as well as self-driving cars.
Other tech firms are also acknowledging the huge opportunity in VR and mixed reality.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has increased its personnel working on AR by 38 percent. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) recently suggested that wearable tech and smartphones will have a huge part in VR and AR. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is likely spending a portion of its $14 billion R&D budget on this tech as well.
Apple Inc. Knows Smartphones Need an Upgrade
Is the Apple iPhone here to stay? It’s quite likely. The company will release its 10th anniversary iPhone next year, and some speculate that it will contain some form of augmented reality in order to revolutionize the smartphone market.
But Apple will need to do something new. Smartphone technology, though it has improved with each passing year, has stagnated. Everything about the smartphone has remained the same over the last few years: the look, the functions, the use.
This could be part of the reason that global smartphone sales have stagnated.
Observers ponder the question: is smartphone innovation dead? No, but it will likely take quite a bit of time to do something else with smartphones, tablets and phablets.
The Verge was eloquent when it opined last year:
“Perhaps it’s a sign of the maturation of smartphones. They are all too damn good nowadays for a new one to arrive and wow us with its excellence. But surely that makes design even more important, not less. If everyone can tout the same specs and capabilities, it will be the devices that just feel better that will win people over. When Sony, HTC, and LG reissue their old designs, they’re not giving themselves the chance to seduce new users. Nor are they offering any tempting reason for existing ones to upgrade.”
Cook may be able to remedy this stagnation with next year’s new iPhone model. Or, Cook may cook something up in the coming years by integrating smartphone technology with AR technology.