What you need to know
- A new report claims Apple is set to enter the next round of testing ahead of mass production.
- Mass production is expected in August or September.
- A headset is now thought to be ready for market by the end of the year.
Apple's rumored AR/VR headset is once again said to be on for a launch towards the back end of 2022, according to a new report.
Following previous claims by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman that Apple's mixed reality headset headset could be pushed to 2023, a report from DigiTimes yesterday said that the company had been able to complete production tests of the product. Now, in an expanded version of that report seen by MacRumors, DigiTimes now says that Apple plans to get the product out the door before 2022 draws to a close.
To do that, it will need to complete the next stage of production validation testing sooner rather than later — especially if claims of a mass production run from August or September are accurate.
The headset is rumored to be a costly one with prices north of $2,000 expected to be accurate. The headset isn't thought to be a product that will be sold in huge quantities, at least initially. However, this entire product is rather seen by some as a stepping stone as Apple continues work on Apple Glass — a product that will be more like an advanced Google Glass product than the VR headsets we're more accustomed to seeing.
If Apple is indeed set to launch this new headset by the end of the year we can likely expect some sort of announcement at this year's WWDC event. If developers will be able to build apps for use on the headset, they'll need to be told about it months before it ships.
WWDC, Apple's annual developer conference, normally takes place in June.
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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.
If this AR/VR headset is more than $2000 USD, and doesn't come with any hand controllers. Then it won't be a very good VR headset. It's nice to have hand tracking, but many VR games are written with hand controllers in mind, like many of the Steam VR apps and games.
What I haven't seen anywhere: Why Apple would even make and release this at this time. There's little demand and the tech isn't quite Apple-ready so again: Why and why now?
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