Monday, January 30, 2023
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Apple reportedly developing cheaper mixed reality headset, postpones AR glasses

Apple is yet to announce its first mixed reality headset, but we’ve already heard plenty of rumors about the company’s long-term plans when it comes to this new product. The Information, which has been providing multiple details about Apple’s new AR/VR headset, reported on Tuesday that Apple’s engineers are already working on a more affordable version of the new device.

Apple’s AR/VR headset may get a cheaper version

Sources familiar with the matter told the report that even though Apple’s first AR/VR headset hasn’t yet been announced, the company is already concerned about its price. Previous rumors suggest that the price of the first generation headset could reach $3,000.

To ensure that more people can have access to such technologies, Apple is already planning a cheaper version of the device. The exact price is unclear, but the report’s sources claim that Apple wants this more affordable version of the headset to cost around the same price as an iPhone. Currently, the price of the iPhone 14 lineup ranges from $800 to $1,600.

The Information says that Apple engineers are still discussing ways to make the product cheaper. This could result in the more affordable version of the headset having lower resolution displays, less sensors, cheaper materials, slower processor, and even not including the H2 chip for lower latency when paired with AirPods.

Even so, the company still plans to release the first headset for a much higher price as a way to “test the limits” of how much consumers are willing to pay for such a product. But this is not the first time we’ve heard about a cheaper version of Apple’s new mixed reality headset.

Last year, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had already reported that Apple had been exploring the idea of introducing a more affordable version of the new product in 2025. Kuo also claimed that Apple will introduce the second generation of the premium headset in 2025.

Apple puts AR glasses project on hold

In addition to the new mixed reality headset, Apple has also been working on new AR glasses. Unlike the headset, the glasses wouldn’t have immersive VR features as they would be focused on basic tasks like showing notifications. However, Apple’s plans on this may have changed as well.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported today that the company has put the development of its AR glasses on hold indefinitely. Bloomberg also claims that Apple now wants to focus on releasing a cheaper version of its headset by 2025. Gurman says Apple still plans to unveil the first generation of its mixed reality headset sometime this year.

Apple’s first-generation mixed reality headset is expected to feature an “innovative three-display configuration” with two 4K Micro-LED panels. These high-resolution displays should deliver a super-immersive experience compared to competing devices.

The device will also have advanced sensors, such as multiple cameras and LiDAR scanner to detect the environment. In addition to hand gesture detection, rumors suggest that the headset will also feature advanced eye tracking, iris recognition, voice control, skin detection, and facial expression detection.

As for the design, leaked sketches have revealed that Apple’s headset will have design elements inspired by the AirPods and Apple Watch. Some analysts expect Apple to ship 10 million units of its AR/VR devices by 2026.

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