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Apple's AR headset might be a sidekick for your iPhone

Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo reportedly expects the company's augmented reality headgear to launch early next year.

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The iPhones of today await the AR of tomorrow.
James Martin/CNET

Apple's rumored augmented reality headset might end up being a sidekick for your iPhone. A Wednesday report from Ming-chi Kuo, an Apple analyst at TF International Securities, said the company's AR headset will enter mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year to meet an early 2020 launch, according to MacRumors.

CNET reported last year that Apple was working on an AR headset slated for release in 2020. 

Now playing: Watch this: What is AR and how does it differ from virtual reality?

The AR headset will be marketed as an iPhone accessory, Kuo said, according to MacRumors. The headset will primarily be a display, Kuo reportedly said, with functions like computing and networking being handled by a companion iPhone. This could help keep the headset slim and lightweight, more like glasses, according to MacRumors. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook has indicated the company is preparing for a big future in AR, saying it's a technology that's potentially as important as the iPhone. Apple unleashed a number of AR tools at its WWDC developer conference earlier this year, including a whole AR-making toolkit called Reality Composer. And while we're still waiting for Apple to unveil an AR headset or glasses, there have been some hints in iOS 13 of what the company is working on. 

Apple and TF International Securities didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Originally published Oct. 9, 10:54 a.m PT.
Update, 1:13 p.m. PT: Adds more background on Apple's work with AR.