Prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is continuing his coverage of the upcoming Apple augmented reality and virtual reality product, with the first-generation headset expected to debut sometime in 2022.
The first-generation headset will weigh around 300-400 grams, which compares quite favourably to the existing VR headsets on the market. However, the analyst says Apple is already working on a second-generation design which will be significantly lighter, as well as featuring an updated industrial design, new battery system, and faster processor.
Kuo stresses that Apple’s debut in this space will be a mixed reality device, enabling augmented reality and virtual reality experiences in a single headset.
Rumors point to the first generation headset being extremely high-end with high-resolution displays for each eye, and M1-chip level performance. It is also expected to be expensive, with prices starting above $1000. It will definitely be aimed at an ‘early adopter’ market, at least initially.
Kuo expects Apple to sell about 2.5-3.5 million units of the first-generation headset in 2023. The second-generation headset will launch sometime in the second half of 2024. Apple expects demand to accelerate as the product gets both more feature-rich and more accessible, with second-generation unit estimates approaching 10 million.
Of course, Apple has not yet officially confirmed the existence of the AR/VR headset project but it is an open secret that the product is in development. Apple has about 1000 engineers working on the device. Looking even further into the future, the company wants to move from an intrusive headset form factor to thin and light ‘AR glasses’, although the technology to pull this off is still several years out.
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