Multiple rumors have indicated that Apple’s first AR/VR headset due later this year will cost somewhere around $3,000, but that a future version will be more affordable, according to reports from The information and Bloomberg. Apple is already developing a more “budget” AR/VR headset that could be priced similarly to the iPhone.
Current iPhone 14 models are priced from $799 and go up to $1599 for the most expensive model with 1TB of storage, but there’s no word on where in that range the cheaper headset might fall. The headset will reportedly compete with Meta’s $1,500 mixed reality headset.
Apple’s engineers plan to use more affordable components to lower the price, but the cheaper headset will have the same general AR/VR “mixed reality” functionality as the headset launching in 2023. The chips in the device will be similar to the iPhone rather than the Mac-level chips used in the first AR/VR headset, and Apple may also use lower-resolution internal displays and cheaper materials.
At this point, development of the more affordable headset is in its early stages, and Apple hasn’t made a working prototype yet. The information says “significant” work started on the device last year, with the goal at the time being to launch the low-cost headset in 2024. Apple could introduce a budget mixed reality headset in 2024 or 2025, according to Bloomberg.
For almost all product categories, Apple has both premium and more affordable versions of devices, so it’s no surprise that the company has plans for a more consumer-friendly mixed reality headset to be added to the ~$3,000 high-end version later this year .
With the focus now on a more affordable AR/VR headset, Bloomberg says Apple is delaying the augmented reality Apple glasses it was working on. The rollout of the Apple Glasses has been postponed indefinitely and work on the device has been scaled back.
Apple’s first AR/VR headset could be released as early as this spring, but the device has suffered several delays during development. The $3,000 price is thanks to the high-end components Apple uses, including dual 4K Sony displays, more than a dozen cameras, an external battery pack, and more. Details on the AR/VR headset can be found in our roundup.