A new supply chain report reiterates that things are still on track for an Apple headset launch date sometime early next year, but goes on to suggest that a second-generation model will go on sale earlier than expected.
Kuo recently predicted that the 2nd-gen mixed-reality headset wouldn’t launch until 2025, but today’s report says that Apple appears to be targeting 2024 instead …
Apple is believed to have short-, medium-, and long-term goals in this field.
The first product we’re expecting to see is a mixed-reality Apple Headset. This is likely to look broadly similar to today’s virtual reality (VR) headsets, but with external cameras to incorporate augmented reality (AR) content. Facebook parent Meta is believed to be working on a similar device.
The Apple Headset team was reported to have demonstrated the device to the company’s board of directors, implying that it has reached an advanced stage of development.
Next up will likely be a more affordable, and likely more compact, version of the same thing.
Apple’s long-term goal is believed to be something usually referred to as Apple Glasses. This describes a device that looks much more like conventional glasses but is capable of overlaying AR content. This concept was first realized in the ill-fated Google Glass.
Apple headset launch dates
There’s a clear consensus that the first Apple headset will launch early in 2023. This is expected to be both bulky and expensive, with a price as high as $3,000. This model is thought to be primarily geared towards the developers.
A lighter, more compact, and more affordable 2nd-gen model is already in development. Kuo recently suggested this wouldn’t launch until 2025, but The Elec says that its supply chain sources indicate that Apple is currently aiming to have this model on sale sometime in 2024.
Apple is launching an extended reality (XR) device early next year. The domestic parts·equipment industry has started preparing for mass production of XR parts. Apple has already started the development of a 2nd-gen product after their preparations for the release of the 1st-gen XR device next year […]
The domestic parts·equipment industry is preparing parts for Apple XR devices with the goal of mass production in Q4 of this year and is signing orders for parts production and inspecting equipment. It is expected that Apple XR devices will be released early next year considering the timing of mass production of parts. As it is the first line-up of products they are launching, production volume is not expected to be large […]
Apple is also developing a 2nd gen XR device at the same time, with a goal of releasing it in 2024. The 2nd gen product is expected to be much lighter in weight than the 1st gen product and to equipped with call function. They aim to popularize XR devices by greatly increasing portability.
Facebook parent Meta is working on a Quest Pro VR/AR headset, with specs similar to those suggested for Apple’s 1st-gen headset – but at a significantly lower price.
The new Meta headset will have far better graphics processing and power compared with the regular Meta Quest headset. It will also include external high-resolution cameras to simulate AR in color, eye tracking, more storage, new controllers, and high-resolution displays for virtual reality […]
It will cost more than $1,000, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t yet public.
The anticipated price differential is because Apple will want its usual 37%-ish markup, while Meta’s strategy is believed to be to sell its headsets at cost – or even at a loss – in order to popularize the metaverse. The company then hopes to make its money from its cut of app sales, as it does with its existing Quest headsets, but some have described this business model as “unsustainable.“