Apple AR/VR headset release date plans revealed — and it won't come cheap

Apple VR headset mockup
(Image credit: Snappa)

Apple is getting ready to launch a slew of updated devices, from the iPhone 14 to the AirPods Pro 2. But the long-rumored AR/VR headset is also set to release over the coming months. In fact, as soon as January 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

In a research report, Kuo revealed the key investment planning for the Apple AR/VR headset. In January, Apple plans to reveal the head-mounted display (HMD), which is expected to be priced from $2,000 to $2,500. Plus, expect low shipments of less than 1.5 million units.

The expensive mixed reality headset will need to prove itself "to reduce investors' doubts," according to Kuo. There are doubts about the "innovative user experience and low shipments," and the high price tag is also expected to affect shipments.

The upcoming event in January is expected to boost confidence in Apple's AR/VR headset, despite it seemingly being a niche product like Magic Leap's $2,295 AR goggles and Microsoft’s $3,500 Hololens 2. However, Kuo also notes that the mixed reality headset could be the "next revolutionary consumer product after the iPhone."  With the rumored specs it packs, it might be. 

(Image credit: The Information)

Apple AR/VR power

Apple's first venture into virtual reality won't be cheap, seeing as many reports have stated that it would be around $3,000. With that price, however, it's meant to have impressive specs.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman states the Cupertino tech giant is gearing up to launch a slew of new products from this fall through to the first half of 2023. In that list, he mentions the mixed reality headset, and that it could be powered by the recent M2 chip. However, others believe it could be the M1 Pro that powers it, the chip found in the 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Kuo also offered more details about the first-generation head-mounted display, stating that it will "adopt two 3P Pancake modules (one for each eye)." However, the second-gen model's Pancake lenses will likely offer an improved visual experience and form factor design.

We also know Apple's first mixed reality headset is expected to be equipped with Wi-Fi 6/6E for an improved wireless experience, and is tipped to compete with other highly anticipated VR devices set to arrive in 2022, such as Meta's rumored high-end VR headset Project Cambria.

While we have yet to see the first, Apple is apparently already planning a second-generation mixed reality headset in 2025, and it may reach up to 10 million units. However, it's up to the success of the upcoming AR/VR headset. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.