Apple's cheaper AR headset could arrive in 2025 | Cult of Mac

Apple’s cheaper AR headset could arrive in 2025

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Apple VR/AR headset takes big step toward production
Wait until 2025 if you want don't want to spend a bomb on Apple's AR headset.
Concept: Martin Hajek/Computer Bild

Apple’s second-generation AR headset could debut in 2025 with a more affordable price tag. The company seemingly plans to launch two different variants of the headset to target consumers with different budgets.

Apple’s first-generation mixed reality headset is currently expected to launch in the first half of 2023.

Budget AR headset could help boost shipments

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple could ship 10 million AR headsets by 2025 or 2026. This will be due to its “product segmentation strategy and ecosystem” that will involve launching a cheaper variant in 2025 or 2026.

There will also be a more expensive model packing bigger changes to justify its higher price tag. The cheaper model will likely be based on the first-gen headset with minor improvements.

Based on his supply chain research, Kuo says in a Medium post that Apple’s upcoming AR headset will use two 3P Pancake modules. It is a critical component that plays a key role in the final design and visual experience. Each unit costs around $30-40. The second-gen headset could use even more expensive Pancake modules.

Apple’s first AR headset could debut in January 2023

Apple’s first-gen AR headset could reportedly debut at a media event in January 2023. The company has seemingly already showcased the product to its shareholders. It will enter into the engineering validation test phase in Q3 this year. Tim Cook himself teased the headset in an interview and told the public to “stay tuned” for it.

For consumers, preorders could start sometime in Q2 2023. The AR/VR headset could finally hit stores before the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 2023.

Kuo previously claimed the AR headset could cost upwards of $3,000, making it an expensive proposition. If that price tag ends up being correct, Apple’s first-gen AR headset could find limited takers. A more affordable option could help change that in 2025 or 2026.

Apple could demo its AR/VR headset during the iPhone 14 launch event in September. The company has done something similar in the past for significant product unveilings.