The buzz around Apple’s ambitious augmented reality/virtual reality hardware has only been growing. After months of speculation, which was followed by numerous reports and rumors, it appears that the tech giant might finally be ready to introduce its first-generation AR/VR headset hardware as soon as WWDC in June. On account of its cutting-edge tech including multiple cameras and sensors, in addition to high-resolution displays, many are wondering just how pricey the device will be. Some rumors suggest that the ‘Apple Reality Pro’ headset would be priced anywhere between $2,000 up to $3,000.
It is natural that such an amount won’t be as accessible to all users, and it looks Apple has foreseen this. A new report from Nikkei today hints that the company has already started working with Foxconn to manufacture a cheaper – consumer-friendly – second generation headset for a, notably lower, price.
Many of the components used in the first-gen headset are reportedly quite expensive, especially the high-resolution micro-OLED displays which could cost nearly $150 each per headset unit. This is because the technology is not yet mainstream and the yields are still relatively low. Further, Apple has tapped Luxshare – a relatively uncommon manufacturer for such early-release products – to help with the assembly process.
In light of the above, it was only to be expected that Apple would be working on a more cost-friendly version of the AR/VR headset. After all, the $3K tag may appeal to the tech-elite, but it could potentially stop the average user from wanting to make the purchase. An article by The Information back in January also hinted at this. It suggests that the cheaper version could come with fewer sensors, and lower resolution displays, that would help reduce the cost. Moreover, it is also believed that the more mass-appealing AR/VR headset might have a different branding, with some suggesting that it could be called ‘Apple Reality One’ – an idea that was further characterized by trademark filings.
As of now, we can hope that the ‘Reality Pro’ would make an appearance sometime this year, but the ‘Reality One’ could take a year or even early 2025 to surface. As the tech continues to grow and evolve, it’ll be interesting to see how Apple’s take on the AR/VR headset pans out.
Are you excited for the upcoming AR/VR hardware? Let us know in the comments below!