Apple was interested in buying AR company Magic Leap and almost did so in 2016. That’s what financial news agency Bloomberg writes in a reconstruction of what happened to the company that raised $3.5 billion in investments and never saw its platform get off the ground.
Magic Leap was in consultation with all the major tech giants in 2016, but the interest from Apple was most concrete and those conversations came the farthest, writes Bloomberg in the backstory. The Magic Leap founder traveled to Cupertino to talk to Apple’s board about a takeover.
Apple has been interested in augmented reality for years. Around the time of the talks, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Apple was more interested in augmented reality than virtual reality. Meanwhile, with ARKit, Apple already has api’s for developers to create apps for iOS with aspects of AR. Glasses are rumoured to follow in a few years
Magic Leap has been around since 2011 and has attracted investment from big companies such as Google and Qualcomm. Nevertheless, the company did not make good on its promises. An experimental AR pair of glasses eventually came on the market, the Magic Leap One. The founder stepped down as chief executive earlier this year. His successor wants to partner with other companies to sell the AR glasses and focuses more on the business market.