Apple headset to go into initial production in March 2023 - report
Apple's first mixed reality headset will reportedly go into mass production in March. The production volume is expected to be less than one million devices.
Apple is allegedly developing three XR headsets at the same time. According to Apple reporter Mark Gurman, the first headset could be the high-priced "Apple Reality Pro." Like the Meta Quest Pro (info), the focus is on mixed reality applications with video AR.
A cheaper successor for end customers is also already in the works, which according to Gurman is codenamed "N602" and could be called "Apple Reality One".
First, however, comes the aforementioned high-end model Reality Pro. New insider information recently came out for this as well. A report from the Taiwanese electronics newspaper DigiTimes (via MacRumors) reports progress in the development. The report points to a start of mass production in March 2023. An unveiling could follow in April.
Apple reportedly wants to produce small quantities initially
Contract manufacturer Pegatron is responsible as the exclusive partner for manufacturing, according to the report. Insiders estimate the dates based on the current stage the process validation compared with assembly requirements.
Keeping with the premium focus of Apple's first pair of glasses, the initial production volume is reportedly small. At just 700,000 to 800,000 devices, this is well below earlier estimates of 2.5 million units.
Despite the low production volume, Apple's partners are ready to position themselves for the production of further VR and AR hardware with the help of the order. The technology company's good name alone makes it easier to position itself, vis-à-vis investors, for future projects. LG and Samsung Display are reportedly applying for future headset displays. The first display combo reportedly comes from Sony (micro OLED) and LG (peripheral LCD).
Apple could use this first headset for market entry, integration into its ecosystem, and building a good app base. We expect an Apple Reality Pro and its successor that look much slimmer than most VR headsets today thanks to so-called pancake lenses, which are remarkably flat.
M2 chip for mixed reality headsets
Supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in August that Apple would unveil its first mixed reality headset in January 2023, with initial shipments beginning in June. According to Gurman, the name "Reality Processor" could refer to a specialized VR/AR chip in the headset based on an M2 with 16 gigabytes of RAM.
This switch from an M1 chip might be necessary after rumors of waste heat problems with an older model. The operating system in turn, according to earlier trademark filings, could be called "RealityOS" in line with the rest of the naming.