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Apple rumored to be working with Valve to get its AR headset ready

AR on iPad
AR on iPad (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly working with Valve to get its AR headset off the ground.
  • Valve already has a VR headset of its own.
  • The report comes via DigiTimes, which might be a concern.

Apple is working with gaming company Valve in order to move its AR headset project forward. That's according to a new report by DigiTimes (via MacRumors).

DigiTimes has long been the internet's most reliably unreliable source for these kinds of things, though. Sometimes it's spot on. Others, not so much. So keep that in mind when reading on.

The report has the two firms teaming up with a target launch date of the second half of 2020, a timescale which matches previous claims by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple reportedly has partnered with US game developer Valve to develop AR head-mounted display devices, which may be released in the second half of 2020 at the earliest, with Taiwan's ODMs Quanta Computer and Pegatron said to handle the assembly job, according to industry sources.

Despite Valve having already built its own VR headset, Apple CEO Tim Cook still believes that AR is the way forward to the extent that buyers will take to it the same way they did smartphones more than ten years ago.

Apple will cooperate with Valve on AR headsets rather than VR devices, as its CEO Tim Cook believes that AR can make digital content become part of the user's world and will be as popular as smartphones with consumers. This has also promoted Apple to step up the development of AR software by recruiting more engineers for graphic design, system interface and system architecture segments.

I'm not at all sold on that being the case, but maybe that's why I'm not the CEO of one of the world's richest companies.

Given the history of DigiTimes it's difficult to form an opinion on this news. The same outlet previously claimed that Apple had disbanded the team working on its AR headset. It's possible that may have been due to the partnership with Valve. Or it could have been completely wrong. But until I see Tim Cook on a stage with an AR headset on, I'll be right over here quietly reserving judgement.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.