A new inside report into Apple's upcoming mixed reality headset, Apple Reality Pro, says the device will be "extremely expensive" and that even a rumored cheaper follow-up device could cost the same as a high-end Mac.
The news comes in the context of a report from Nikkei Asia which reveals Apple has enlisted the help of a Chinese manufacturer, Luxshare precision, for the first time ever to develop a first-generation product.
Previously, Taiwanese suppliers, notably Foxconn, have been Apple's go-to partners in developing new products. Apple first tapped Pegatron, which makes Apple's best iPhones like the iPhone 14 Pro, to help with the headset, but apparently, it was skeptical about Apple's plans. Luxshare proved much more enthusiastic and is now at the forefront of its development alongside Foxconn.
Apple VR will be "extremely expensive"
More important for us consumers is word on the eye-watering rumored price of Apple VR. Nikkei says that the rumored 4K micro OLED displays going into Apple Reality Pro cost $150 each to manufacture, more than double the iPhone 14's OLED panels.
Nikkei Asia says that "based on analysts and industry executives' estimates" the first generation of Apple VR could cost anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
One executive with knowledge of the headset's development said the "first generation of AR devices will be extremely expensive" with a very niche customer base. We have heard previously that Apple is planning a follow-up second-generation model that will be cheaper, however, this source says the device, which is being developed in parallel to the first-generation, will still cost the same as "a high-end Mac computer." Apple's current high-end Mac range, such as the M2 MacBook Pro for 2023, runs north of $2,000.
Apple VR is expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2023 after Apple reportedly canceled plans to show off the device at an event in April.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9