SAN FRANCISCO – With all the hype over how “big” augmented reality and virtual reality is going to become, pundits are betting on Apple’s next move.

Commentators say Apple is devoting sizable resources into augmented reality applications, and building a robust team to figure out its product strategy.

“Apple’s focus in the near-term is on nailing augmented reality on the iPhone over the next five years,” said the usually well informed Gene Munster, MD of Loup Ventures.

Munster says the smartphone in its current form isn’t going to last. “The smartphone is going to be the device for AR for the next five years,” he said. The company is protecting itself from others like Facebook and Google by jumping ahead in the emerging AR and VR markets.