The Apple AR headset launch may be later than expected, but work is already underway on its more affordable successor. That's according to industry insider Ming-Chi Kuo, who says that the likelihood of a spring launch for the Reality Pro is decreasing while "the probability of the headset launch alongside iPhone 15 in 3Q23 is rising". That would mean a September unveiling, with the devices reaching early adopters before the end of 2023.
The launch is apparently behind schedule due to shortages of crucial tools and some testing issues. However, while Apple is apparently rejigging its plans for its first headset, it's also getting ready to put the next generation into production – and that could be here in 2025.
What will the second generation Apple AR headset be like?
According to Kuo, the second generation of the Apple AR headset will come in two distinct flavours: a high-end model and a much more affordable low-end model. The terms low-end and affordable are likely to be relative, though: with a rumoured price tag of $3,000 (and some rumours say it could be significantly more) for the first-generation AR headset, a more affordable option might still be rather expensive and most likely much more pricey than the PSVR 2.
Kuo's report adds weight to the rumours that Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn is working on a more affordable version of the firm's AR device.
Apple's still keeping its AR headset under wraps and is likely to keep things that way for some months yet, but we do know that the first generation of its AR device is expected to have twin 4K OLED displays, head and eye tracking, gesture control and a virtual twist on the familiar iOS/iPadOS interface.
The price is likely to put a lot of potential buyers off, but that's no doubt factored into Apple's plans: the original version, rather like the original iPad or original Apple Watch, is likely to be more about the device's potential: we won't know what the killer AR app is until some time after developers and end users get their hands on it and heads in it.