A Friday report indicated that Apple was having trouble with its rumored AR/VR headset due to overheating, camera, and software challenges, which could make the company delay its plans to unveil its Mixed Reality headset this year. Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is back with some more tidbits regarding the product.
In previous reports, Gurman had indicated that Apple’s AR/VR headset will be “pricey.” Although analysts were predicting the product will cost around $3,000, Bloomberg’s journalist says in his latest Power On newsletter that Apple has discussed price points above $2,000.
Apple typically charges a bit more than its competitors for products, locking in margins that have helped it become one of the most profitable consumer-electronics companies ever. The new headset won’t be an exception, but the main reason why the company has discussed price points above $2,000 is because of some of its internal technologies.
Not only that, but Gurman had already pointed out that Apple will likely use the M1 Pro chip – or something similar – to the new AR/VR headset. Today, he explains a bit more about why he thinks that will happen.
I’d expect two processors inside of the device, including one on par with the M1 Pro in the MacBook Pro. Combine that with multiple displays—including super-high-resolution 8K panels—an interchangeable prescription lens option and advanced audio technology, and the costs add up. And don’t forget seven years of internal development expenses that need to be recouped. (…) My belief is that the chip inside the Apple headset will be on par with the M1 Pro, making it better than the M1. The main reason for going with an M1 Pro over an M1 isn’t CPU speeds. It’s the need for more advanced graphics. As you may know, the M1 has an eight-core GPU, whereas the M1 Pro has 14 to 16 graphics cores.
Apple’s AR/VR headset is likely to focus on gaming, media consumption, and communication, as pointed out by Gurman and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Gaming should be a strong focus of the machine, especially given that it will have multiple processors, a fan, extremely high-resolution displays and its own App Store. Look for Apple to position the device as a dream for game developers. Next, media consumption. I expect Apple to work with media partners to create content that can be watched in VR on the device. Third, communications. Look for Animojis and a VR FaceTime-like experience to be the new-age Zoom.
What Apple will call its AR/VR headset?
Mark Gurman also bets in a few names for Apple’s AR/VR headset in his newsletter. Here are some of them:
- Apple Vision: I think Apple Vision could be the most realistic name for the headset. The vision name sounds futuristic, doesn’t reference any particular technology or feature, has an optimistic vibe, and doesn’t box the product into anything other than being a new visual medium.
- Apple Reality: This was my initial guess on what Apple might call its headset, and it still makes a lot of sense to me. Virtual and augmented reality are the core technologies used in the headset, and Reality alludes to the likely name of the rOS operating system destined for the device. The word itself is also understandable and broad. Further, the name could work for both the company’s first headset and stand-alone AR glasses coming later this decade. Apple could call its first headset the “Apple Reality” and then name the glasses the “Apple Reality Glasses.”
- Apple Sight/iSight: The first thing I think of with the name Apple Sight is, of course, the iSight Apple video chat camera from 15 years ago. I owned one, and it was probably the coolest-looking video chat camera ever made. Apple has moved away from using “i” in new products, so just Apple Sight is a possibility. It’s not my personal favorite, though, and I think it’s unlikely.
He also believes Apple could call the product Apple Lens or even Apple Goggles.
As the company keeps readying this new product, we will hear even more from it in the upcoming months, whether it’s unveiled during this year’s WWDC or, in the worst-case scenario, in 2023.
If you want to learn more about Apple’s plans on AR/VR headset and its true AR headset, click here.
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