While Apple has reportedly worked on a version of the headset with a built-in battery pack that charges via a USB-C cable, it’s now thought that the model that will ship uses an external power source that Apple hopes will help keep the headset cool during use.
However, that battery pack isn’t going to last a long time between charges — just two hours, if a new report is accurate.
Powered up — but not for long
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports, citing sources, that Apple’s headset will make use of two of the company’s latest M2 chips, or some variation thereof. Those chips will create plenty of heat, as will the “dedicated processor for graphics and mixed-reality experiences.” Gurman says that’s a concern for Apple.
“But making the processors powerful enough brought another concern: having the device overheat while it’s on a user’s face,” Gurman reports. It’s then suggested that Apple’s fix was to offload the battery pack to a new location, removing it and its heat from the user’s head. It’s thought that the headset will also have a fan like high-end Macs.
However, that battery isn’t going to last for very long on a single charge. Gurman says that it runs for just two hours before it needs to be replaced or recharged, something that will be an issue for anyone hoping to watch a movie in virtual reality.
Gurman says that the external battery pack is around the size of two iPhone 14 Pro Max models, or around six inches tall and more than half an inch thick.
Apple is now expected to launch the headset later this year, with a price of around $3,000 sure to make it more of a nice-to-have than any kind of must-buy accessory.
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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.