Apple Has Reportedly Delayed AR Glasses to Focus on Cheaper Mixed-Reality Headset

Apple has reportedly delayed the augmented reality glasses that the company was planning to launch as a follow-up to its upcoming mixed-reality headset, which is expected to be announced later this spring. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple is now prioritizing work on a cheaper mixed-reality headset that could be released next year at the earliest.

“The company had originally hoped to release the AR glasses after the debut of its mixed-reality headset, which combines both AR and virtual reality, but that part of the plan is now on hold, explained Gurman. “Instead, Apple will follow up with a lower-cost version of the mixed-reality headset as soon as 2024 or early 2025, according to people familiar with the deliberations.”

Gurman mentioned “technical challenges” as the reason why Apple had chosen to delay its lightweight AR glasses. The reporter believes that Apple has now “postponed the rollout indefinitely and pared back its work on the AR device.”

If Apple has been secretly working on AR/VR devices for a couple of years, the company’s first mixed-reality headset is expected to cost around $3,000, putting it in the same league as Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. The headset will reportedly be powered by a high-end Apple M2 chip, and The Information previously reported that it will require an external battery pack providing up to 2 hours of usage.

The cheapest mixed-reality headset that Gurman mentioned in his report today is expected to use less powerful A-series chips Apple currently uses in its iPhones. The company may also be aiming for a $1,500 price for this headset to make it competitive next to the Meta Quest Pro.

Moreover, Gurman believes that Apple could be planning to use the “Reality Pro” and “Reality One” names that it previously trademarked to differentiate its first mixed reality headset coming in 2023 from its cheaper successor. Apple’s mixed reality headsets are expected to run “xrOS”, which is short for “extended reality.”

2023 is expected to be an interesting year for Apple, hardware-wise. In addition to the company releasing its first mixed-reality headset, the iPhone 15 is expected to finally ditch Apple’s proprietary Lightning port in favor of a USB-C port. The iPhone 15 “Ultra” is also expected to replace the Pro Max model later this fall.

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