The Apple AR / VR headset rumored to be in production could arrive as early as this year – but we’ve already seen predictions about a 2nd-gen version, which could include both high-end and low- end models.
This is by respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (Opens in a new tab) (via MacRumors (Opens in a new tab)), which says that the two devices are set to appear in 2025. Other than that, we don’t have much information about it.
As an industry analyst, Kuo talks about some of the deals Apple has made with manufacturing partners behind the scenes — but if consumers are concerned, it’s the promise of a cheaper headset which is most interesting.
The price may be right
If the rumors are accurate, the first Apple AR / VR headset coming this year or next will be on the more expensive side: prices of $3,000 (£2,510 / AU $4,460) and above have been mentioned by various sources you. know.
That’s out of reach for most of us, hence the cheaper 2nd-gen model – maybe about half the price. This is not the first time that a less expensive alternative has been discussed, and it seems that it could replace Apple’s planned augmented reality glasses.
As for the latest 1st-gen model, Kuo said (Opens in a new tab) which it is now unlikely to see in the first half of the year. However, the possibility that it will appear together with the iPhone 15 handsets in time for September is “increasing”.
Analysis: choose your reality
It’s always worth recapping the kind of facts we talk about here so you can understand what Apple is doing. First there is AR or augmented reality, which is digital elements superimposed on top of the real world – so you point your phone camera at the ground and see a Pokémon miraculously appear, for example.
Then we have VR or virtual reality, fully embedded digital worlds where everything is done in software. You’ll experience this when you’re strapped to something like the Oculus Quest 2, and the processing demands are higher because a greater number of digital objects need to be created.
It appears that Apple’s headset can mix AR and VR tech: Kuo calls it an “AR / MR headset”, with MR standing for mixed reality. Mixed reality tends to mean AR and VR together on one device, though confusingly not everyone in tech uses it to mean the same thing — sometimes it’s used to mean a higher, deeper level in AR.
Rounding out the terminology is XR or extended reality, which is often used as an umbrella term to cover AR, VR and MR all. Now you can impress the guests at your next dinner party with your comprehensive knowledge of all the augmented and virtual jargon you need.