More affordable Apple mixed reality headset coming in 2025

The announcement of Apple’s rumored mixed reality headset seems to be getting closer as multiple sources are pointing to an official launch in 2023. However, while the first model is expected to be priced as high as $3,000, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now said in a new report that Apple is already working on a more affordable version of its headset for 2025.

As reported by Kuo on his personal blog, Apple has already been talking to its suppliers as the company is working on the second generation of its AR/VR headset. It’s worth noting that at this point, the first generation headset is probably ready for mass manufacturing considering that the product has been demoed to Apple’s board of directors.

However, according to Kuo, the second generation of Apple’s AR/VR headset is expected to come in two different models. The first will be an upgrade to the first-generation headset with better hardware and the other will be a more affordable model.

Due to its complexity and high-end hardware, analysts believe that Apple’s new headset will be priced too high. It’s no surprise that Apple will eventually bring the new AR/VR experience to more people with a less expensive model, as the company has been doing the same with entry-level models of the iPhone and iPad.

However, it’s unclear what the differences between the two models of Apple’s second generation mixed reality headset will be. Perhaps the less expensive model will have a simplified design or even less powerful hardware.

Apple’s first-gen mixed reality headset

Kuo: More affordable model of Apple's mixed reality headset coming in 2025.

Previous reports about Apple’s first generation mixed reality headset suggest that it will feature an “innovative three-display configuration” with two Micro-OLED panels and another AMOLED panel. These high-resolution displays should deliver a super-immersive experience compared to competing devices.

The device will also have advanced sensors, such as multiple cameras and LiDAR scanner to detect the environment and even the users’ hand gestures. In addition to hand gesture detection, Ming-Chi Kuo believes the headset will also feature advanced eye tracking, iris recognition, voice control, skin detection, and facial expression detection.

As for the design, some leaked sketches have revealed that Apple’s AR/VR headset will have design elements inspired by the AirPods and Apple Watch.

Apple’s mixed reality headset should soon enter the engineering validation testing phase. If all goes as planned, the product could be announced as early as January 2023 with the official launch scheduled for the first half of the year. Although some rumors said that Apple could announce the headset later this year, Kuo says that the company won’t do so in order not to give competitors time to copy the product’s features.

The analyst expects Apple will ship 10 million units of its AR/VR headset by 2026.

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