Apple to launch a cheaper mixed reality headset next year, AR glasses postponed: Report

Apple's AR-VR headset will come this year, followed by a cheaper one next year.

Highlights
  • Apple’s AR glass launch has been postponed owing to technical challenges.
  • Instead, the company is planning to bring a cheaper version of the mixed-reality headset as soon as 2024 or probably by 2025.
  • Apple is reportedly launching two mixed reality headsets, the first one of them probably coming this Spring.

Apple has reportedly postponed the launch of its first AR (augmented-reality) glasses due to technical challenges. However, the company is planning to bring a second, cheaper version of its mixed reality headset as soon as 2024 or probably by 2025, according to a Bloomberg report. Originally, Apple planned to release AR glasses after the debut of its much-hyped AR-VR headset but apparently, that plan is now on hold. The second mixed reality headset is not to be confused with the original headset, which Apple likely plans to launch as early as this spring.

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The shifting plans underscore the challenges Apple faces in pushing into a new industry. The company is betting that AR and VR devices could be a major moneymaker, but the technical challenges of producing a consumer-friendly product have bedevilled much of the tech world,” said the report.

Apple AR/VR headset

Apple planning two AR-VR headsets

Trademark filings reveal Apple is working on two AR-VR headsets, with the documents revealing the monikers “Reality Pro” and “Reality One.” The Pro would likely be the initial, more expensive model, while One could be the cheaper version. There also is a filing for “Reality Processor,” which is probably the dedicated chip for the headset.

The original, more expensive AR-VR headset, probably the Reality Pro, is likely to be unveiled at the company’s Spring event this year. The device might cost $3,000 (around Rs 2.45 lakh). The heavy price tag comes at a cost as it uses advanced and high-resolution displays, more than 10 cameras, sensors to determine where a user is looking, an M2 processor and a dedicated chip for handling AR and VR visuals, says the Bloomberg report.

Apple is said to reduce the price for the cheaper Reality One headset by using chips on par with iPhone rather than components found in the higher-end Mac computers. The mixed reality headset from Apple will compete with Meta’s VR headset that debuted in 2022 with a much cheaper price tag of $1,500 (around Rs 1.22 lakh).

With the AR glasses, Apple plans to replace the iPhone by moving the smartphone’s main functions to a wearer’s field of view on the AR glasses. The device will let users see incoming notifications, get map directions, make and take phone calls, or snap photos right from their face.