Apple’s push into augmented reality have been ramped up with the acquisition of Vrvana, a startup based in Monteal, Canada that makes headsets known as Totem at a price of $30 million. Already the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has a team developing its own augmented reality headset under a project codenamed T228. According to Vrvanna, its Totem headset is totally immersive.

So far Apple has been critical of the virtual reality and augmented reality hardware that currently exists. According to Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, there is still a long way to go before acceptable quality can be achieved.

Poor quality

“Today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that,” said Cook in a newspaper interview.

Apple’s own AR headset is expected to be installed with an operating system known as rOS or reality operating system and will be based on iOS. Reports indicate that Apple is planning on shipping the headset sometime in 2020.

In the past few months Apple has been making a pivot towards augmented reality. The iPhone 8 was touted earlier in the year as being the first smartphone to be natively designed with augmented reality in mind. This should be a boon for AR apps though dedicated hardware is what is missing.

Production improvements

The acquisition of Vrvana by Apple coincides with renowned KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo putting an investor note which indicates that production improvements have seen the supply of the iPhone rise. Currently shipments of iPhone X from Hon Hai are on average between 440,000 and 550,000 units a day compared to between 50,000 and 100,000 units a few weeks ago.

It is also understood that suppliers have ramped up production with some of them doubling the rate. While KGI had slashed order expectations of the iPhone X earlier in the year due to concerns over supply the research firm is now saying shipments in the fourth quarter of 2017 will be between 10 and 20% higher than had been previously estimated. Consequently waiting periods have fallen with the average waiting time after a pre-order now at under 14 days compared to five to six weeks at the beginning of the month.