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."
[Analysis] Apple AR/MR Headset Prediction Update: 2nd, Shipments, Schedule, and Pancake Lens Supply Chain / Apple AR/MR頭盔預測更新：第二代、出貨量、時程與Pancake透鏡供應鏈 @mingchikuo https://t.co/XrZnRkRGHKJuly 11, 2022
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.