Apple VR headset: Price, specs & features speculation
Someone wearing a VR headset with Apple’s logo
Want to know more about the upcoming Apple VR headset, also known as the Apple Reality Pro? We’ve scoured the internet for all the leaks and rumors like possible price, specifications, and more.
The Apple VR headset has been in the news since 2016. Over time, we’ve been hearing inklings over Apple’s rumored device, which has not been formally announced yet.
Apple’s headset has been one of the most awaited upcoming VR headsets, for the company, it has been one of the most secretive projects in the company’s history, and could define Tim Cook’s reign as Apple CEO.
With WWDC 2023 coming soon. Apple’s VR headset could be one of the products announced during this four-day developers’ event starting from June 5.
Like every other project Apple works on, there are a ton of rumors and leaks hinting at the expected price, launch date, specifications, and features. So, we decided to sift through them all to bring you the latest and most relevant details.
Apple VR headset price speculation
Current reports suggest that the Apple VR headset could cost up to $3000.
Though, reports from several outlets such as Bloomberg, Digitimes, and The Information cannot nail down an exact price point.
If the reports are accurate, the upcoming VR headset could be costlier than most of your gaming gadgets and iPhones combined.
Looking at the most popular headsets, like Meta’s Quest lineup, many consumer friendly headsets generally cost anywhere from $300-900. Apple’s headset might be exortbitantly priced by comparison.
One of the primary reasons behind the headset’s high price tag is its rumored costly components. A report hints that the company isn’t looking to compromise on quality to make the headset affordable. It is reported that the headset’s estimated BOM (bill of materials) cost is around $1300 to $1600, thus justifying the premium pricing. Some pricey components include micro-OLED displays at $280 to $320, and the headset’s 14 camera modules at $160. Some of its chips cost around $120 to $140, and the cost of assembly is estimated at around $110 to $120.
Apple VR headset date speculation
Apple’s VR headset is likely to be announced on June 5, 2023.
Several launch dates were being discussed; however, with WWDC approaching, it seems like the most obvious place to
Reliable Apple tipster Ming Chi-Kuo hinted, “Apple will announce its long-awaited AR/MR headset at the WWDC in June.” Later Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also corroborated the theories around the price and the launch date.
Therefore, it’s likely that the Apple VR/AR headset will debut very soon.
Apple VR headset design speculation
Reports hint that the headset might be named the Apple Reality Pro. This also indicates that a vanilla variant could also be in the works. The same report hints that the budget Apple VR headset could be called Reality One and might arrive in 2025.
A recent trademark filed by a company called “Deep Dive LLC,” believed to be a shell company for Apple, filed for a trademark on “xrOS” and “xrProOS.” If you’re wondering, these could be the names of the operating systems powering the headsets. Apple uses shell companies to file patents and trademarks to protect its privacy.
It was initially speculated that the Apple VR headset might look like a pair of sunglasses. It was expected to be designed like a fashion accessory with a computer attached. We’ve seen similar designs with Google Glass and other devices like Xreal Air. However, it was later revealed that the first-generation Apple headset might look less like a regular VR headset and could be more like ski goggles.
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Its design has also been praised by experts.
Apple VR headset rumored specifications
Ming Chi-Kuo claims that the first Apple headset could weigh around 300-400 grams, similar to the VR headsets available on the market. However, he also said that a second-generation device is expected to carry a refined design, powerful innards, and weigh much less. He further claims that the second-gen headset is already in the works.
Several patents and reports reveal that the Apple Reality Pro might come with “Pancake” lenses and will keep users’ comfort as the primary focus.
The headset is expected to come with a crown-like wheel to allow users to switch between entirely virtual (VR) and seeing their surroundings (AR). The headset is rumored to come equipped with a pair of 4K OLED screens supplied by Sony and will be equipped with eye-tracking technology. There could be at least 12 cameras on the Reality Pro headset from Apple.
Those screens are rumored to be 1.41″ in size, with 4000 PPI and an eye-melting brightness of more than 5000 nits. In comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max peak brightness outdoors is only 2000 nits. The M2 iPad Pro comes at 1,600 nits as well.
The headset is expected to have a built-in audio system like the Meta Quest Pro or allow users to pair their AirPods Pro, which comes with an ultra-low latency mode.
Powering the headset could be a couple of chipsets. One of these SoCs could be a variant of Apple’s M2 chipset, while the other, named a Reality Processor, is expected to handle graphics and sensor-related functions.
Other rumored specifications include Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a 96W power adapter like the MacBook Pro.
Apple VR headset: Should you buy it?
The Apple Reality Pro will be the first-of-its-kind device from Apple. It could be the necessary evil Apple might introduce to get the ball rolling while gradually arriving at the final design after a few iterations.
Various reports linked above hint the same. The fact that the company is already working on the second-gen headset is the biggest hint that a VR headset will be the start of a new line of products, and not just a one-off.
Moreover, Apple is said to have revised the sales estimates drastically for the first headset. It was rumored that the company was looking to sell at least 900,000 units in its lifetime. A report estimates a meager 10,000 units in the first year, while the initial target was to sell around 3 million headsets.
The cutdown in the number could hint at a couple of things. Firstly, as mentioned above, the headset could be costly, and Apple feels there would be a few customers for such an expensive accessory.
Second, the most crucial reason could be that Apple has planned for different-looking products, and the first-gen device is just a stepping stone toward achieving its overall goals. Unlike the Apple iPhone, the design of the Apple Reality Pro headset is expected to evolve faster, and the second-generation device might look radically different from its predecessor.
Another theory suggests that the first-generation headset is being launched to create a demand for VR headsets. Once Apple launches a product, many other companies join the bandwagon, which helps innovation and brings down the component costs – which is said to be a significant reason behind the high price of Apple’s Reality Pro.
So, until and unless you’re one of those early adopters who doesn’t look at the price tag of a product and are ok with a partially working ecosystem and a relatively early design, the Apple Reality Pro might be for you. But, the price for paying to be an early adopter is high.