Kuo: Apple's 2022 AR/VR headset to pack Wi-Fi 6E for improved performance

Oculus (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is again rumored to be launching an AR/VR headset in 2022.
  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects Apple's first headset to pack Wi-Fi 6E for improvemed performance.

Apple is again rumored to have plans to get a new AR/VR headset into people's hands and onto their heads as soon as 2022, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo saying that the release will happen in the fourth quarter of 2022.

The report comes via a research note seen by iMore, with Kuo noting that Apple is just one of many companies set to launch new hardware in the next year. But it's the specifications of Apple's headset that are most interesting with Kuo of the belief that Wi-Fi 6E will be offered.

The adoption of the latest Wi-Fi specification is a basic requirement for head-mounted displays (HMDs) to improve the wireless experience. New HMDs from Meta, Apple, and Sony will all adopt Wi-Fi 6/6E in 2022.

The use of a faster Wi-Fi standard will likely allow for faster data transfer, something that would be vital if, as expected, advanced features will require the headset to be wirelessly tethered to an iPhone. Some reports had Apple's iPhone 13 coming with Wi-Fi 6 functionality. but that turned out to be wide of the mark. Wi-Fi 6E is an improvement on the existing W-Fi 6 feature set with the addition of improved latency an important factor.

Kuo goes on to say that Apple, Meta — formerly Facebook — and Sony will all get some sort of headset into the market next year.

Apple's 2022 headset is reportedly only part of Apple's strategy, however. A new, smaller product is also expected to launch around 2024. That product is likely to be the Apple Glass product we've been hearing about for years now.

If Wi-Fi 6E is part of the 2022 headset's specification it's likely you'll need a new iPhone to make it work. That means that while iPhone 13 is the best iPhone around right now, buyers could be out of luck come headset-buying time.

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.