Apple headset on track, glasses could launch sooner - report
Apple's first headset is expected to be technically complex and will be launched in early 2023. The second device could be a simple smartphone-like pair of glasses and come to market in 2024.
According to recurring insider and analyst reports, Apple is expected to unveil and launch the first XR glasses in early 2023 at the latest. There have been corresponding forecasts at other times, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. But they have accumulated recently and have settled on a timing.
LG supply chain information points to market launch in early 2023
Now, the South Korean industry magazine Korea IT News also reports that Apple's Asian suppliers, especially LG, are preparing for a market launch in early 2023. Mass production is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2022, but with a small number of units.
This fits with earlier reports that Apple sees its first headset primarily as a test balloon for professionals and enthusiasts, and is not yet aiming for high sales numbers. The second device, which is to be launched in 2024 (see below), could serve this purpose.
Korea IT News confirms that Sony and LG will supply the display combination for Apple's first XR headset. The magazine refers to "OLEDoS," a combination of micro OLED display and OLED. According to earlier reports, Sony will supply the high-resolution micro OLED for the center of the display, and an LG OLED display will fill the peripheral field of view.
LG Innotek is also said to supply the depth sensors for the device, three of which are to be installed per headset. The optical cameras are supposed to come from a Chinese supplier and have low quality because they are only needed for tracking.
According to Korea IT News, the first headset still uses an M1 processor, and the operating system is supposed to be iOS. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently reported that Apple could already rely on the M2 chip.
Apple glasses with mass market ambition to launch in 2024
The report goes on to say that Apple plans to launch a second pair of tech glasses as early as 2024. These will be significantly lighter and more portable, and will reportedly also offer a call function. The device is expected to appeal to a larger market than the first headset. LG Innotek is discussed as a supplier for high-resolution cameras.
This scenario fits with long-standing rumors that Apple is working on two categories of devices: First, more technically complex and powerful standalone AR VR headsets that the company will likely market with a focus on office and entertainment, which people can use more comfortably at home. And slimmer data glasses for the iPhone that are suitable for everyday use.
This product strategy could also be followed by Meta, which is expected to launch its first slim data glasses with display (codenamed Hypernova) in 2024, in addition to more Quest VR headsets.