Apple AR Headset: Release Date, Rumours And Latest News

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Rumours for Apple's AR headset look to be in full swing, and as such the first thing we'd love to know is a release date.

While information is a little thin on the ground, the rumour mill has been turning and we're seeing more exciting snippets of information emerge.

Here's everything we know so far about Apple's upcoming AR headset.

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Table of Contents

Apple AR Headset Release Date

As things stand, we have no official word or much concrete information on the release date for Apple's AR headset. Much like Project Cambria for instance, it is a device that has arrived with a lot of rumours thus far.

A Bloomberg report has stated that Apple has experienced some snags within the development of the headset which has pushed back its potential announcement date towards the back-end of 2022 or into 2023, when the headset is expected to release.

The original plan looks to have been for the headset to be revealed at WWDC 2022, largely expected to be in June 2022 and then released some months later, but that looks to have hit some stumbling blocks due to overheating concerns, chiefly.

These time lags can be common in the development of a new product, and Mark Gurman arguably predicted such would happen in a Power On newsletter from November 2021.

Specifically, he noted the need for Apple to collaborate with governments on prescription lenses, which could pose challenges considering that Apple has had little experience in this area.

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These production delays are likely to also affect the timeframe in which mass production was due to begin, which had been touted by Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) as previously being Q2 2022, ahead of the Q4 2022 announcement, which may not be the case today.

He had also stated that Apple expects to shift 3 million units of the first-gen headset in 2023, with 8-10 million the year after, and 15-20 million units in 2025.

Kuo has also said that Apple is also apparently already working on its second generation AR headset with a release date of 2024, and it'll be lighter and feature a better battery system than the upcoming first generation.

Alongside the Apple AR Headset, Apple also looks to be developing AR glasses, dubbed the Apple Glasses, which are set to release after the headset as an accessory to the iPhone, according to rumours.

Apple AR Headset Specs

As with the release date, there has been no official word on specs for Apple's AR headset, but some reputable analysts have provided us with an inkling of what to potentially expect.

How Long Can You Use Apple AR For?

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Recent reports have indicated that despite the lightweight design of the device, users may not be able to use it for extended periods.

According to WCCFTech, the Apple AR and VR headsets are tailored with short purposeful usage in mind, rather than endless scrolling.

Mark Gurman has concurred with this notion, noting that the headset is not designed as an "all-day-device".

We've seen over the years recently new features introduce on social media to combat such behaviour, but whether Apple places limiters on the usage is yet to be seen and perhaps fairly unlikely.

Our First Proper Look?

MacRumors looks to have obtained some intriguing concept renders for what the Apple AR Headset could look like, and in our eyes, it does look pretty sleek. Take a look below:

Apple AR Headset Release Date
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Image Credit: MacRumors/Ian Zelbo
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They are provided by concept maker Ian Zelbo and are sourced from an earlier story from The Information who stated the headset will have a "sleek, curved visor attached to the face by a mesh material and swappable headbands", in accordance with a 'late stage prototype'.

This looks to follow similar design cues to some of Apple's most recent products such as the AirPods Max that offer a similar mesh around the earcups and headband.

If the actual product looks similar to the render, it could make the Apple AR Headset one of the best-looking VR headsets out there and cement it as more of a lifestyle device than something for enterprise use, in comparison to what the Microsoft HoloLens 2 looks like, for instance.

A High Spec Behemoth

Mark Gurman has also described the upcoming headset as having a "complex, expensive-to-build design, complete with interchangeable lenses" which certainly suggests it will be a rather high-spec headset.

This point of the Apple AR Headset being high-spec is also backed up by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who has stated it will have "the same computing power level as the Mac" with two processors - a higher-end one with M1-like power and a second, lower-spec one for sensor computing.

He has also stated it will have two Sony 4K Micro OLED displays for possible VR usage. If this is the case, then Apple could be utilising the panels from Sony's 8K VR headset prototype that was recently unveiled which will offer a low-latency and more detailed VR experience.

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A rumour from The Elec has concurred with the fact the headset could have Micro OLED displays as well as a resolution of up to 3000 ppi, which would make it rather powerful.

Gurman's Power On newsletter from 5th December 2021 (via 9To5Mac) has also provided some intriguing leaked information about the Apple AR Headset with talk of it being a multi-purpose device for communication, gaming and media consumption, and has offered more info on specs, as a result.

He has concurred with Ming-Chi Kuo's notion of it having powerful displays, as well as further suggesting that gaming will be one of the device's top priorities, stating it will have "multiple processors, a fan, extremely high-resolution displays and its own App Store" to back this up.

On the notion of displays, Apple's headset will apparently feature a triple display set up according to a recent research report from analyst Ross Young. Two of them will be Micro OLED panels whilst one will be an AMOLED display. Sony is set to provide the Micro OLED displays that the headset.

For its power supply, the AR Headset is supposedly going to utilise the same 96W power supply, according to Ming-Chi Kuo (via GSM Arena). What this could mean is that it will carry MacBook Pro 14 levels of power, and possibly support fast charging.

The Bank of America CEO has referred to the device as a "gamechanger" (via Forbes) which looks in part to confirm the idea of it being a powerful device, and more integrally, one for investors to get excited about, as Apple stock does look to have risen since this remark.

In a bid to bolster their AR output, Apple has also reportedly hired Meta's communications chief Andrea Schubert, according to Mark Gurman (via 9To5Mac), which certainly looks to give Apple's AR Headset some good credentials, and could help it along with some high specs.

Image Credit - Apple - it has been suggested that you may need to pair the Apple AR headset to other Apple devices like this iPhone 13 for it to work
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Image Credit - Apple - it has been suggested that you may need to pair the Apple AR headset to other Apple devices like this iPhone 13 for it to work
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A Need To Pair It Up...Or Not?

There has also been the suggestion that you won't need to pair the headset up with any other Apple devices in order for it to work. However, this is a point of contention as a story from The Information suggests you will need to pair it up with an iPhone for it to work.

In a broader context, there has also been the suggestion that the release of Apple's AR headset being the first step as part of a wider decade-long plan to replace the iPhone with AR tech, but all of this of course remains to be seen.

A Rather Lightweight Headset

A recent note to Apple investors from Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that Apple's AR headset will weigh between 300 and 400g and will be able to "seamlessly switch between AR and VR to provide an innovative headset experience" which sounds promising.

Kuo has also stated the second-generation headset will be even lighter than the first.

Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality?

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Hand tracking is also set to be a key part of the Apple AR Headset experience thanks to four 3D sensors according to Ming Chi-Kuo (via The Verge), as opposed to the single sensor present on iPhones.

These sensors will form the basis of the headset's human-machine interface that, according to Kuo, will allow for not only hand tracking but also eye tracking, iris recognition, expression detection, spatial detection, skin detection and voice control.

Back in March 2021, Ming Chi-Kuo (via 9To5Mac) also stated the headset is likely to feature 15 optical modules for enhanced biometrics and some powerful AR experiences.

Such experiences may come in the form of games and could also take advantage of existing Apple innovations such as Siri and Spatial Audio in Apple Music for extra immersion.

On the point of the metaverse, Mark Gurman has noted that the idea of a metaverse is "off limits" for Apple, suggesting their AR Headset will keep firmly in the real world, as opposed to a virtual one.

More Powerful WiFi Connectivity

There have also been suggestions that the device will have WiFi 6E support alongside a see-through AR mode. In short, WiFi 6E will offer the power of WiFi 6 including faster speeds and lower latency but extended into the 6GHz band.

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This allows also for increased bandwidth and less chance of interference, which will be particularly handy if the Apple AR Headset works wirelessly.

All of this points to the fact the Apple AR Headset could be used for gaming, not only due to Mark Gurman's indication of it being a use case, but also just the sheer power of the headset.

It is likely to be a lifestyle device given the design cues too, and could well cement itself as one of the best VR headsets around when it launches, especially given its vast list of touted features.

Apple AR Headset Price

On the front of pricing, it's much the same story. There has been no official word from Apple just yet, but a story from The Information (via Tom's Guide) has suggested a price tag north of $3000, yet Ming-Chi Kuo has touted a price tag of $1000.

Intriguingly, a note to investors from Ami Daryanani has suggested that in its fifth year of being on the market Apple could garner over $18 billion in potential revenue for the headset.

If we utilise Ming-Chi Kuo's 15-20 million units in 2025 figure, it would suggest a price of between $900 and $1200, with a simple calculation, although this is of course not an official figure, by any means.

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It's hard to believe that Apple would charge as much as $3000 if the headset is going to be released to the general public, especially if they are to buy into the new technology.

Given its apparently high specs though, it may be possible that the headset follows a similar line to the current crop of Mac Pros, which are majorly designed for business and enterprise use, given their five-figure price tags.

If the Apple AR Headset is going to compete with options like Microsoft's HoloLens 2 at $3500, then maybe it doesn't seem too impossible for it to be priced so highly.

When Could We Hear More?

As things currently stand, we are unlikely to hear any official news on the Apple AR Headset until the official announcement, which is expected at the back-end of this year.

As and when we hear any interesting and reputable leaks though, we'll be sure to update this page with what's new.

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