Just when we thought Apple was finally seeing the light in regards to its bullheadedness on proprietary cables (it should be dropping the Lightning port on the iPhone 15 due to an EU mandate), Bloomberg journalist and Apple insider Mark Gurman dropped a bomb on us.
According to Gurman's sources, the Apple AR/VR headset will have a new proprietary charging connector. Boo! However, after Gurman delved into how this port serves to benefit the highly anticipated mixed-reality headset, we'll consider overlooking Apple's obsession with proprietary tech — just this once.
What is this proprietary port for?
As we've mentioned in "5 wild rumored Apple mixed-reality headset features that will likely make it to market," the head-mounted display will reportedly come with a battery pack that you can wear on your hip or in your pocket. "Apple made that choice to reduce weight and comfort," Gurman said.
The rumored new proprietary port will support the battery pack. "Well, why not just use USB-C?" you may be wondering. Well, as it turns out, the newly engineered charging cable is custom designed to ensure that the connector doesn't fall out while you're using it. It has a round magnetic tip that goes inside the headset, and users must rotate it clockwise to lock it in. The proprietary cable is connected to the battery pack, and it can't be separated from it.
Now that is a good reason to add a proprietary port. Using a Lightning port for the iPhone line doesn't quite make much sense to me as its charging and data speeds are much slower compared to USB-C, but if Apple's implementing a new port and cable to improve the user experience, I'm all for it.
In addition to the new proprietary port, the mixed-reality headset will also have a USB-C connector for transferring data.
What does the battery pack look like?
According to Gurman, the external pack looks like Apple's iPhone MagSafe battery pack, except it's larger (about the size of an iPhone) and thicker.
Users can reportedly charge the pack via USB-C, but don't expect much battery life out of it. The Apple mixed-reality headset is rumored only last two hours on a charge. Gurman says the poor battery life is due to the dual 4K displays, but there's a good chance that Apple will allow users to purchase extra battery packs.
The Apple AR/VR headset is expected to be announced in June at WWDC 2023. Want to keep track of all the new developments? Check out our Apple mixed-reality headset rumor hub.