The launch of Apple’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and likely iPhone X may wave the starter’s flag for augmented reality developers with a bevy of apps to follow.

Apple has been foreshadowing a move into augmented reality with ARkit, a software developer’s kit unveiled at WWDC, and a preview of some handy apps this month.

The Apple iPhone 8 event will be the third installment of the company’s augmented reality push and there are a few key reasons to believe that AR will become mainstream. Among the key items to know:

  • Apple’s iOS 11 will be rolled out broadly with new iPhone and the company doesn’t have the fragmentation that has hampered previous AR efforts.
  • Developers make money with Apple and have been burned with experiments with AR and VR elsewhere.
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X are expected to create a big upgrade cycle for Apple. There are a bevy of iPhone 6s devices in the field.
  • The combined installed base creates a ready-made AR audience for new applications on the consumer and business fronts.
  • And these AR efforts aren’t going to require headsets or new hardware beyond the iPhone.

Let’s be clear: Apple’s iPhone event circa 2017 is all about the hardware. The broader ramifications, however, are likely to be about augmented reality. Apple just started the real AR race.

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