Skip to main content

Apple analyst suggests launch date for its rumored mixed-reality headset

Apple is reported to be eyeing mid-2022 for the launch of a mixed-reality (MR) headset, while its rumored augmented-reality (AR) glasses could get a release three years after that in 2025. And if you’re holding out for the smart contact lenses we heard about, be patient. They might not drop till 2030, or even 2040.

The update comes via TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo whose contacts in the industry have helped him to call it right with other Apple-related forecasts over the years.

“We predict that Apple’s MR/AR product roadmap includes three phases: helmet type by 2022, glasses type by 2025, and contact lens type by 2030–2040,” Kuo wrote in a research note obtained by MacRumors, adding, “We foresee that the helmet product will provide AR and virtual reality (VR) experiences, while glasses and contact lens types of products are more likely to focus on AR applications.”

While Apple is keeping characteristically tight-lipped about the upcoming products, the 2022 date for the headset chimes with a recent Bloomberg report that cited people with knowledge of the matter.

According to Kuo, Apple’s design team is working on a number of prototypes for its MR headset, each one tipping the scales at between 200 and 300 grams. However, Apple is keen to get that down to between 100 grams and 200 grams, a weight that would make it considerably lighter than the 503 grams of Facebook’s recently released Oculus Quest 2 headset that some reports have suggested the Apple headset will resemble.

Rumored design specs for Apple’s first-ever MR headset include 8K displays, Apple Silicon processors similar to the M1 chip currently used in its MacBook range, up to a dozen cameras and lidar sensors for hand tracking and eye tracking, and decent battery life.

As for pricing, Kuo said it’s likely to come in at around $1,000, a third of the price suggested in a recent report from The Information.

Kuo believes customers will be able to enjoy an “immersive experience that is significantly better than existing VR products,” adding, “We believe that Apple may highly integrate this helmet with video-related applications (e.g., Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, etc.) as one of the key selling points.”

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Vision Pro headset proves buggy for prominent Apple tipster
Apple Vision Pro being worn by a person while using a keyboard.

Apple's Vision Pro headset reached its first customers on February 2. Apple

Apple’s new Vision Pro mixed-reality headset appears to be the buggiest first-generation device ever launched by the tech giant.

Read more
Zoom unveils immersive app for Apple’s Vision Pro headset
zoom unveils immersive app for apples vision pro headset ad

Zoom has just unveiled its videoconferencing app designed especially for Apple’s Vision Pro mixed-reality headset, which launches this Friday.

The app aims to “seamlessly blend videoconferencing with user’s physical space,” Zoom said on Monday, “blurring the lines of in-person and remote meetings with the infinite canvas on Apple Vision Pro, helping distributed teams feel more connected and included.”

Read more
Why the future of the Quest depends on the Vision Pro
A divided image shows an Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3.

Meta's Quest 2 is the world's most popular VR headset, and the latest Quest 3 is selling well and will quickly reach second place. However, the Vision Pro will arrive within days. While Apple's VR headset outclasses Meta's best in every way, the self-proclaimed "metaverse" company is reportedly optimistic about Apple entering the market.

The timing of the Quest 3's launch in October 2023 was perfect, riding the wave of excitement Apple created about mixed reality with the Vision Pro announcement four months earlier. Meta captured VR holiday sales before Apple's headset was available and now benefits from increased media coverage and comparisons of the Vision Pro and Quest 3, often with a focus on the vast price difference.

Read more