What's Up with Apple: Black Friday Deals, Augmented Reality to Replace iPhone, and More

While today may make it official, Black Friday has been seeping out for about a month. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is joining the party as well today.

Apple’s main website announces that the “Apple Shopping Event is on,” and it includes special offers on a variety of products. Third-generation AirPods, for example, maintain their $179 list price but come with an Apple Gift Card if you purchase by Monday. Merchants such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Best Buy are offering AirPods 3 for as low as $149.99, AirPods Pro with MagSafe for $159.00, and AirPods 2 for $99.99.

MacRumors has a Black Friday Roundup with its recommendations and updates.

Both 9to5Mac and The Verge reported Thursday that Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote in a note to investors that Apple will release an augmented reality (AR) headset late next year and that the company’s goal is to replace the iPhone with AR in the next 10 years.

Kuo also said that next year’s AR headset will include “the same computing power level as the Mac.” That means the headset can operate independently of a Mac or an iPhone and the device “supports a comprehensive range of applications rather than specific applications.” Apple’s goal, according to Kuo, is an entirely independent AR ecosystem, not unlike the one Apple built around the iPhone.

The first AR headset will include two processors, one with computing power “similar” to that of Apple’s M1 chip and a second that “will be in charge of sensor-related computing.” Kuo also predicts that the headset will be equipped with two Sony 4K micro-LED displays, indication potential support for virtual reality (VR) applications.

Kuo also noted that Apple’s sole supplier of ajinomoto build-up film (ABF), a critical component of a chip’s insulating substrate, will be a “leading beneficiary” of Apple’s AR initiative.

Briefly noted:

Italy’s competition regulators have fined Apple and Google $11.3 million each for alleged misuse of user data. Earlier this week, Italy fined Apple and Amazon a combined $225 million for anti-competitive practices.

Four people entered a Santa Rosa, California, Apple Store on Wednesday and stole more than $20,000 worth of Apple products in another of dozens of similar smash-and-grab incidents in San Francisco and Los Angeles.