A new report claims that Apple will debut an AR headset in early 2023, with an improved version shipping in 2024 — but it's not clear what the report is referring to.
A supply chain report on Thursday details what is being seen in the supply chain as it pertains to Apple's AR headset work. It is not the first one predicting January 2023 for release, but it is the first to postulate that two will be released within a year of each other.
The report claims that the first generation of the product will focus on gaming and "testing the metaverse" so Apple can produce a second generation shortly thereafter. Notably, Apple has never said the word "metaverse" in any public-facing venue.
The timetable is tight, with a year reported separating the releases of the two. Furthermore, the second generation is said to add "call functions" and be lighter than the initial version. Production volumes are said to be low.
The headset is also said to have an "OLEDoS" display from Sony and LG Display. This particular form of display is said to have an OLED display applied to a silicon wafer rather than separate assemblies to keep weight and thickness down.
The report may be possibly referring to developer preview hardware, as the company would need third party software support prior to launch. It has provided this several times, with the first Intel hardware available to developers in generic hardware, Apple Silicon coming in a modified Mac mini enclosure, and eGPU kits being made available before official support.
It isn't clear if the report on Thursdayt by ET News is originally sourced, or a combination of other recent reports. The venue has a mixed track record reporting on Apple's plans, extrapolated from supply chain moves.
Although there were rumors that Apple would announce or preview its headset during WWDC 2022, that ultimately didn't pan out. Back in May, a report indicated that the Apple mixed-reality headset had reached an "advanced" stage of development — with the device potentially being ready for release by 2023.
The AR/MR headset itself is expected to be a premium headset focused on virtual- or mixed-reality experiences and games, instead of a pair of dedicated augmented reality glasses like the so-called "Apple Glass."
Earlier reports suggest that Apple's headset will sport a pair of 4K OLED displays, 15 different camera modules, and a powerful chip more akin to the M1 than Apple's A-series. It's expected to cost around $3,000.