Apple’s long-rumoured AR headset is said to be announced next year. However, it may take even longer until users will be able to get their hands on one.
In the latest edition of the Power On Newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman covers the long-gestating AR headset from the iPhone maker. While continuing to believe that the company will announce the product in 2022, Gurman compares the rollout to the original iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad. “I expect the gap between the introduction of Apple’s first headset—scheduled for as early as next year—to be sizable and perhaps rival that of the original Apple Watch,” Gurman says.
The report continues to state that the headset will have a complex design and feature “interchangeable lenses”. This will also be Apple’s first attempt at tackling a new niche in the technology space.
Apple’s first headset will have a complex, expensive-to-build design, complete with interchangeable lenses. The company will likely need to work with governments globally on possible prescription lenses and partner with a bevy of manufacturers on complex technologies that neither side has shipped before.
That will take time, and of course, Apple will want to have such a breakthrough new category in public view before exposing it to leak risks when it gets into the hands of more Apple employees and partners who will need to contribute to it before release.
Additional reports have stated that Apple’s headset may feature similar processing power to the Mac. It’s also believed that it will be independent will not rely on tethering to a Mac device or an iPhone, according to earlier reports from Ming-Chi Kuo.
On top of an AR headset, Apple is also said to be developing a mixed reality headset or AR/VR device. This headset has always been a product targeted as a 2023 or beyond.
Apple’s first major splash in AR will be its dedicated headset solution marketed for 2022, which Gurman believes will be pricey. It’s believed that the AR headset may first make its appearance during WWDC 2022 with a release later in the year or in 2023.
I could see Apple announcing the headset at its 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference and focusing that event on AR and VR app development. Then it could ship the product late next year or in 2023.