The Apple AR/VR headset is expected to launch in January 2023, which isn't very far away – but for me at least the price means it's not going to be coming to my home any time soon. It's expected to cost more than even the most expensive next-generation Oculus VR headset, with reports suggesting it could be $3,000 or even more.
I didn't expect Apple's AR headset to be cheap, but at the cost of three iPhone 13 Pro phones it's way beyond anything I can afford. So I'm relieved to hear that Apple is also working on a much more affordable version.
That's the good news. The bad? You'll have to wait quite some time for it.
Apple's working on v2 of its AR/VR headset before the v1 even launches
Tech firms plan many years ahead, so it makes sense that Apple is already working on the second generation of its AR/VR headset before the first one has even been launched. According to Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), whose crystal ball is very good at reporting from Apple's future, the Apple AR/VR 2 will be launched in the first half of 2025.
The first generation headset is just one model, but the second generation will be two: one high end one, and one more affordable model. That second model will be crucial if Apple's going to hit the sales targets Kuo quotes of 10 million units in 2025 or 2026: while that doesn't sound like a lot compared to the 200-odd-million iPhones Apple sells every year, that's a seriously huge number of headsets and more than the current market leader, Oculus, is doing – and Oculus devices don't cost three K either.
It's weird to be reporting on the second generation of a device that we know virtually nothing about, pun fully intended: Apple seems incredibly confident that its AR/VR headset is going to be a game changer, and that alone means I'm fascinated by this mysterious product. I can't wait for the inevitable leaks we'll see later this year as the headset gets closer to its launch date.