Apple's mixed-reality headset could land in 2022 with a hefty price tag


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In brief: Apple’s augmented and virtual reality efforts are still very much a mystery, but industry watchers are convinced the company’s first mixed-reality device will land in 2022. Not only that, but it could be accompanied by similar products from companies like Sony and Meta.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the rumored AR/VR device has been in the pipeline for several years, and Apple may be closer to releasing it than previously expected. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that it will be an expensive bit of kit, with most supply chain insiders hinting towards a $3,000 price tag.

Back in September, Apple reportedly finished the physical design for a dedicated system-on-a-chip for the new headset as well as two additional chips that will go inside it — the display driver and an advanced image sensor. Now that the new M1 Pro and M1 Max-powered MacBooks are out and making a good first impression, some have begun speculating about the gaming capabilities of the upcoming mixed-reality headset.

As we’ve already seen from several tests and benchmarks, Apple’s new custom chips are quite capable of handling professional workloads, but they’re not exactly suitable for gaming. Gurman claims the Cupertino giant wants the new mixed-reality device to be capable of high-quality VR gaming experiences, so the chipset that will power that should be able to render top-tier graphics on high-resolution 8K displays.

Separately, renowned analyst Ming Chi-Kuo said Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset will support Wi-Fi 6E for higher bandwidth and lower latency. This is important since all signs indicate the device will require tethering with an iPhone or Mac for more intensive tasks such as VR gaming.

Kuo believes Apple won’t be the only company to introduce an AR/VR device next year as it could be joined by Meta (formerly Facebook) and Sony, who will also leverage Wi-Fi 6E tech in their headsets. If these rumors are anything to go by, it looks like 2022 will be an interesting year for mixed-reality.

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Posts: 1,264   +1,985
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“Apple's [insert any Apple product here] could land in [any year] with a hefty price tag.”

I can’t wait to see reviews of people paying exorbitant amounts of money for a product only to ‘use it wrong’.


Posts: 3,092   +4,133
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An expensive gimmick? I'm not seeing how this will sell mainstream, even with the rabid fans.

At least the existing expensive headsets have Steam VR gaming to fallback on...


Posts: 537   +687
Considering anything that Apple has done in the past in regards to working well with windows, I don't have high hopes for this. One of the Quest's main selling feature is wireless streaming of PC VR titles.

This is not going to hinder sales of Quest or future Meta VR headset. Their platform is pretty much the industry standard for making sure VR functions correctly.

MS has had Augmented reality for years now, and we haven't seen much in terms of practical use. As there just isn't ATM, atleast for standard user cases. Until I can replace my glasses with ones sporting such features, it is mostly a no go. I have no doubt Apple is going to do a better Job than MS, who started off strong but largely gave up in the long term.



Posts: 270   +478
This headset might be out of reach for now, but now with the M1 being so powerful yet using so little power, I can see how Apple believes a VR/AR headsets will soon be powered by iPhone + VR/AR headset.

Truly portable AR/VR seems like the goal, which will be cool if prices become more reasonable

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,311   +8,486
I will definitely be taking a wait and see on this one ... the number of refinements and "upgrades" will certainly be extreme. Sort of re-speaks the old attitude of "buy now and have the tech, or wait for the upgrades and end up waiting forever" ......


Posts: 183   +240
I only have two concerns:

#1 Will it work with DCS World?

#2 ?

#1 lol nope. It’s Apple. It will only work within the Apple ecosystem. Furthermore, it’ll most likely only work with newer iPhones, iPads and M1 Macs. They will try to NOT support Intel based systems because otherwise people will run it on a Hackintosh. I’m sure they will come up with a convenient excuse why Intel can’t run it. Besides, ED can’t even make VR run well in DCS with the current headsets available…

#2 Your best hope is that it makes VR more mainstream which will help other VR headset manufacturers by increasing the potential size of the market and bring more awareness to what VR can offer. Though, I suspect it won’t bring more people into the combat flight sim genre. It’ll just give them more and better VR gear.