Apple's highly anticipated mixed reality headset is now expected to launch in early 2024, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The report comes after Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said last week that the headset would be delayed from its original fall 2023 launch due to software development and mechanical component issues.
The headset, which will be called Reality Pro, will run on a new operating system called xrOS. It will feature two 8K displays, a processor that is more powerful than the M2 chip in the MacBook Pro, and a wide range of sensors to track the user's head and hand movements.Apple has already made a foray into mixed reality with its iOS and iPadOS software, but a headset would mark a new product line for the company. Apple's mixed reality offering will differ from Meta's Quest line, which is a pure virtual reality product. Mixed reality augments a user's environment, rather than replacing it entirely with a computer-generated view.The delay of the headset is a blow to Apple's plans to enter the metaverse. However, the company is still reportedly committed to the product, and it is expected to be a major player in the mixed reality market when it does launch.
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Rumors of Apple working on an augmented reality/mixed reality (AR/MR) headset have been circulating for a few months. According to a recent report prepared for investors by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming Apple AR headset may require the same computing power as the MacBook Pro. According to Kuo, the device's performance should be far superior to that of the most recent iPhones.
According to the report, the rumored AR/MR headset will have two processors: one 4nm chip and one 5nm chip. This is more than expected, and if true, Apple will be ahead of the competition, as most competitor AR/MR headsets only have one processor. Running two separate CPUs is no small feat, so it's no surprise that the new Apple headset will cause a significant amount of processing power.
According to Kuo, the device will use a 96W Jabil charged with the same specifications as the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This will cause faster and more efficient charging, despite the headset's (likely) eminent power requirements. The decision to use a 96W charger "proves that Apple AR/MR requires the same level of computing power as the MacBook Pro and is significantly higher than the iPhone," Kuo says.
Apple could be on the verge of a big hit if the new AR/MR headset proves to be as popular as Ming-Chi Kuo predicts in the rest of the report. The headset, according to Kuo, will provide "vivid AR innovative user experiences" and provide users with "unprecedented access to the metaverse." It will almost certainly have seamless support for other Apple products because it is part of the Apple ecosystem.
It may be difficult for other AR/MR/VR headset manufacturers to achieve this level of compatibility. The Apple headset will undoubtedly have an advantage over similar devices currently on the market because of the use of two processors instead of one. According to the analyst, it could take up to two years for the current market leader to catch up to Apple. Although the Apple AR/MR/VR headset expected to be released in 2022, supplies will be limited.
Ming-Chi Kuo expects annual shipments to rise: 3 million units in 2023, 8-10 million units in 2024, and finally 15-20 million units in 2025, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.
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