There have been rumors in the past that Apple is working on its own AR/VR headset. In 2020, Apple acquired the VR startup Spaces as well as NextVR. Hence, it is pretty much confirmed that Apple is indeed working on VR devices. Now, the rumor is doing rounds again, thanks to a report from Bloomberg, which says that the device could launch as soon as 2022. It is said to be a standalone device that operates through batteries, much like the Oculus Quest 2.
The Bloomberg report cites people who know about the development. The Apple VR device will “display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating.” That said, AR functionality and the ability to overlay images and information over a view of the real world is tipped to be limited. The Apple device will go up against Facebook’s Oculus, Sony’s PlayStation VR, and headsets from HTC.
The report goes on to say that the upcoming Apple VR headset has hit several development hurdles, and the company has “conservative” sales expectations. “The plans suggest that Apple’s first headset will be far more expensive than those from rivals, which cost about $300 to $900,” says the report. It goes on to estimate that Apple could sell just over 180,000 units of the device from their retail store. And, that would be on par with other pricey Apple products, including the $5,999 Mac Pro.
As for the specifications, Apple is said to be planning on putting a much higher resolution display in the headset than those in current VR offerings. Plus, it aims to include advanced chips more powerful than the latest M1 processors. The Apple VR headset could also have a fan. The presence of fan and powerful processors is said to have resulted in a large and heavy device initially. Hence, the company has reportedly brought the headset closer to the face.
On the other hand, Apple AR Glasses (codenamed N421) are also in early development stage. However, they are “several years away.” Current prototypes of the device are tipped to resemble high-priced sunglasses with thick frames that house the battery and chips.