Sony may be building the display for Apple's rumored AR/VR headset

iPhone, iPad, and sunglasses
iPhone, iPad, and sunglasses (Image credit: Rene Ritchie / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Sony may be supplying the display for Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset.
  • Apple has apparently ordered a number of display panels from the company.
  • It is unclear if Apple will also work with Sony for its rumored Apple Glasses.

Reported by 9to5Mac, Apple may be working with Sony to bring its rumored augmented reality and virtual reality headset to life. A new report from Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun says that Apple is working with the company on a display technology that would be used for its upcoming AR/VR headset. The report also backs up earlier reports, claiming that the new headset could be announced as soon as 2021.

Japanese Apple blog Macotakara covered the report, saying that, if Sony does supply the display, it could become a "pillar of Sony's earnings" for the foreseeable future.

It seems that Sony has received an order for a micro display using an organic EL panel. It features high image quality and small size and light weight, and has many achievements for digital camera viewfinders. Augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) compatible HMDs for new applications use optical technology to project images displayed on the display onto the lens in front of you.

Today's report lines up with an earlier report from Bloomberg that claimed Apple was working on two augmented reality products: an AR/VR headset for gaming and the rumored Apple Glasses.

He started building his team in late 2015, and what grew into a 1,000-strong group of engineers went to work developing two products aimed at upending the VR and AR segments. A device code-named N301 would take the best of both VR and AR—the first an all-encompassing digital experience for gaming and consuming content, and the second a tool for overlaying information such as text messages and maps in front of a viewer. The other device, N421, a lightweight pair of glasses using AR only, is more complex.

While Apple's AR/VR headset for gaming may launch as soon as next year, its rumored Apple Glasses seem to be sticking with a 2023 release.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.