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Tim Cook hints at Apple AR/VR headset — 'in the very early innings'

Apple Event Mar 8, 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the AR/VR headset rumored to be in development, stating that we should "stay tuned" for what Apple has to offer in the AR space.  

Spotted by @cesarberardini on Twitter (via iMore), the Apple CEO sat down with news outlet China Daily USA to discuss VR and AR technology. Cook was asked about the key factors needed to succeed in the consumer market, as Chinese consumers are "highly enthusiastic about VR and AR," but some aren't satisfied with what's currently available.

Cook stated that "putting humanity at the center of it" is an important factor in AR, and talked about how there are over 14,000 ARkit apps in the App Store. This mainly focuses on the AR experiences available for the iPhone 13, but he then goes on to say that Apple is still "in the very early innings of how this technology will evolve."

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More importantly, Cook states that we should "stay tuned" for what the Cupertino tech giant has to offer. Apple has yet to officially release any information about its rumored AR/VR headset, but leaks and reports have indicated that it's in development. While Cook doesn't elaborate on what it is we should stay tuned for, it's expected to be a mixed reality headset — and it may be coming soon.

The head-mounted display, which is expected to feature MacBook Pro-level power, has been previously tipped to arrive in late 2022 by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Recently, DigiTimes stated that Apple is gearing up to launch the device before the end of 2022, as the AR/VR headset will reportedly enter mass production sometime in August or September. 

According to Kuo, Apple's VR headset will boast a 96W USB-C power adapter, indicating the HMD will offer processing power on the same level as an M1 MacBook, and possibly the more advanced M1 Pro or M1 Max. As previously reported, Apple's VR headset will be a standalone device, meaning it won't be tethered to Mac or iPhone. Plus, hints about realityOS have been spotted.

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.

Apple has a slew of rumored products in the pipeline, including a 15-inch MacBook, M2 iPad Pro, and the iPhone 14. Only time will tell what's coming, but in the meantime, we have the M2 MacBook Air to look forward to. 

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.