Apple AR/VR headset tipped to get second-gen update in 2025 — but where's the first?

Apple VR rumors
(Image credit: Apple)

A second-generation Apple AR/VR headset is predicted to launch in the first half of 2025, and it may introduce different variations including "high-end and more-affordable models."

Despite Apple's first mixed reality headset still being under wraps, notable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo not only believes that component suppliers will start shipping in the second half of 2024 but also Apple AR/VR headset shipments "may reach 10 million units as soon as 2025 or 2026." This will be due to the second-generation's "product segmentation strategy and ecosystem." 

Kuo has previously claimed that a second-generation headset would be in the works, stating that it would be lighter, faster, sleeker, and offer battery improvements. It will apparently feel much more weightless and boast a new design optimized to fit an improved battery system. He previously claimed it would arrive in 2024, but now appears to have pushed this back to 2025. 

Where is Apple's first-generation AR/VR headset? 

Previous reports indicate Apple's rumored $3,000 AR/VR headset is tipped to enter mass production in either August or September. 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.

Apple has a habit of updating its products frequently. If the mixed reality headset does arrive at the end of 2022 or start of 2023, there's reason to believe the company would offer a second-generation model two years later. Still, since there's nothing concrete about Apple's AR/VR headset (aside from Tim Cook hinting at it), this is currently just speculation.

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.

Only time will tell what Apple has in store, but we're sure to see an iPhone 14 and possibly a new rugged Apple Watch for extreme sports be introduced later this year. 

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.