Apple has reportedly canned its AR Apple Glasses to focus on a more affordable version of its mixed reality headset, in a bid to make its VR/AR platform accessible to more.
So, there are two stories here. One is that as per Bloomberg, work on the augmented reality ‘Apple Glasses’ has been paused indefinitely due to “technical difficulties.” And the other surrounds the increasingly louder rumor mill that Apple is making a more affordable version of its AR/VR headset, which is being reported by The Information.
These stories are linked
It’s clear that if the reports are accurate, these two stories are connected, as Apple sees more value in producing a mixed reality headset over a Google Glass-esque device that the company reportedly considers to be the product that could replace the iPhone in the future.
The plan for this Apple Reality SE (the most logical naming I can think of) is that engineers are taking this $3,000 headset that could be announced as early as this spring, and are looking to find more affordable components to drive that cost down. These cutbacks could include lower resolution displays and cheaper materials — with a view to compete with the likes of the Meta Quest Pro, which costs $1,500.
That’s still rather pricey, but the cost is relative to the specs. And if the power potential being spoken about in rumors about the more expensive model make the transition in some form (plenty of external cameras, spatial audio, a 120-degree field of view, and a standalone battery pack), it’ll be worth it.
Given how much VR and AR dominated CES 2023 with the likes of PSVR 2 and the HTC Vive XR Elite, Apple has got the timing right for dropping what may be called the “Reality Pro” or “Reality One,” based on what has been trademarked.
But with its price and its reported availability (apparently only 200,000 is being made), the headset is clearly going to be limited to a pro tier consumer base. However, expanding this to a potentially wider audience with a cheaper version is a very exciting prospect!
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.