In the months preceding WWDC 2017, Tim Cook made a number of statements highlighting his enthusiasm for augmented reality. Cook’s remarks were somewhat unusual given Apple’s penchant to not say much of anything regarding potentially new and exciting technologies. Cook, though, couldn’t help but extol the benefits of AR, even going so far as to say in February 2017 that AR is as big of a breakthrough as the smartphone.
“The smartphone is for everyone,” Cook explained. “We don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining. I view AR like I view the silicon here in my iPhone, it’s not a product per se, it’s a core technology.”
That said, it wasn’t terribly surprising when Apple at WWDC last year introduced ARKit, a series of tools which helps developers create engaging and immersive augmented reality experiences. At WWDC 2018, Apple doubled down on AR with the introduction of ARKit 2, thus enabling developer to create even more engaging user experiences.
In light of all that, a new investor note from Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan (via CNBC) relays that revenue from augmented reality-based apps could prove to be a huge money-maker for Apple given that such apps would rightly warrant a premium.
Mohan says the “revenue opportunity” is for $6 billion to $8 billion in additional revenue from now until 2020 with $1 billion of that coming from AR apps and the rest coming from increased iPhone sales due to the new technology. If Apple were to introduce AR-specific eyewear, which is not factored into the bank’s current model, the revenue upside could be as much as $11 billion, he said.
Bank of America currently has a price target of $230 on Apple shares.