Apple headset launch date still set for early 2023; 2nd-gen model sooner than expected

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A recent supply chain analysis confirms that an Apple headset will be released sometime early next year, but it also suggests that a second-generation device may be available sooner than expected.

Kuo recently claimed that the second-generation mixed-reality headset will not be released until 2025, but according to today’s news, Apple looks to be targeting 2024 instead…

Background

We recently summarized the story so far:

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

The first Apple headgear is expected to be released in early 2023. This is projected to be both big and costly, with a price tag of up to $3,000. This concept is said to be primarily aimed at developers.

A lighter, more compact, and more economical second-generation model is already in the works. Kuo previously stated that this model will not be available until 2025, however, The Elec claims that its supply chain sources indicate that Apple is now seeking to get this model available in 2024.

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 expected pricing difference is due to Apple’s normal 37 percent -ish markup, whereas Meta’s aim is supposed to be to sell their headsets at cost – or even at a loss – to popularize the metaverse.

The firm then aims to profit off its cut of app sales, as it does with its existing Quest headgear, although this economic model has been dubbed “unsustainable” by critics.

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