There had been some hope that Apple’s unreleased AR/VR headset would be relatively cheap, by re-using the sensors and processing power of your iPhone.
Now the latest rumours from reliable Apple leader Mark Gurman suggests this was a vain hope, with Gurman saying the “pricey” headset will likely cost more than $2000.
One of the reasons is that the headset is expected to be powered by the MacBook Pro’s Apple M1 Pro processor, with Gurman saying:
I’d expect two processors inside of the device, including one on par with the M1 Pro in the MacBook Pro. Combine that with multiple displays—including super-high-resolution 8K panels—an interchangeable prescription lens option and advanced audio technology, and the costs add up. And don’t forget seven years of internal development expenses that need to be recouped. (…) My belief is that the chip inside the Apple headset will be on par with the M1 Pro, making it better than the M1. The main reason for going with an M1 Pro over an M1 isn’t CPU speeds. It’s the need for more advanced graphics. As you may know, the M1 has an eight-core GPU, whereas the M1 Pro has 14 to 16 graphics cores.
As noted above, Gurman also revealed the headset will support an interchangeable prescription lens, suggesting the need for custom fitting.
But what is all the GPU power needed for? According to Gurman the killer case for the headset will be gaming.
Gaming should be a strong focus of the machine, especially given that it will have multiple processors, a fan, extremely high-resolution displays and its own App Store. Look for Apple to position the device as a dream for game developers. Next, media consumption. I expect Apple to work with media partners to create content that can be watched in VR on the device. Third, communications. Look for Animojis and a VR FaceTime-like experience to be the new-age Zoom.
Gurman has a number of potential names for the headset, including Apple Vision, Apple Reality, Apple Sight/iSight, Apple Lens or Apple Goggles. Gurman expects a release either this year at WWDC or some time in 2023 at the latest.
Of course, by now we have learned not to underestimate Apple’s ability to break into a seemingly mature market and grab all the premium revenue. Do our readers think Apple will repeat history again? Let us know below.