There’s encouraging news this week for folks hoping to see the arrival of Apple’s first mixed reality headset before the end of the year, as Apple’s supply chain gears up for production. mass of the new device.
Although we’ve heard about Apple’s AR headset since at least 2017, rumors have intensified over the past few months that the launch of Apple’s latest wearable is imminent.
In fact, with reports that it would enter prototype testing last fall, many believed that Apple would announce the device at a special event in late 2021, even if it wasn’t expected to arrive within a few months. stores only months later.
In October, however, it became apparent that Apple had delayed its plans; the headset was still expected to arrive in 2022, but we wouldn’t see an announcement until at least WWDC in June.
Some reports suggested the new headphones might not even go on sale until early 2023, but new information seems to indicate that Apple is on schedule for a fall 2022 release after all.
According to DigiTimesApple has now completed the second phase of Engineering Validation and Testing (EVT), a process that confirms that prototype units look and perform as Apple expects.
If this information is correct, it puts suppliers on track to enter mass production of the new headset as early as August.
Technically speaking, there is still an EVT phase to go through, but it should start very soon. Unless new issues are encountered during this stage, which is unlikely, the product will be given the green light to go into trial production within the next two months, followed by final production around the fall. .
This lines up with other evidence we’ve seen recently, including code in iOS 15.4 to support the new headset, and even some clues on the App Store identifying a new “realityOS” operating system that would clearly be intended for the helmet.
Last month, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has revealed that Apple was having overheating issues due to the headset’s powerful M1 Pro chip, but it looks like Apple has overcome that problem. However, since DigiTimes notes that Apple also plans to release a second version of the headset next year that will be lighter and more affordable, it’s also possible this is the one Gurman was hearing about as it’s likely already in the prototype stage.
iOS 15.4 and App Store benchmarks suggest that Apple is gearing up to announce the new headphones at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. That would be typical of the way Apple typically announces new products, with enough time to build hype and get developers involved so apps are ready to go when the devices finally land in customers’ hands.
It also looks like Apple is gearing up to release the new headphones as well. In December, he hired former Oculus PR chief Andrea Schubert away from Meta. Schubert has led the launch of all Oculus VR headsets for the past five years, and it’s a safe bet that Apple now wants her to bring that experience to the promotion of its new AR/VR headset.
In the short term, Apple’s first-generation headphones are unlikely to be aimed at consumers. We’ve already heard that it should cost well over $1,000, and DigiTimes’ The report apparently confirms this, adding that it will “primarily target business apps in the vertical market.”
It’s certainly not the end of the game, however. One thing that seems certain is that Apple is planning its new AR/VR headset to be more than just an iPhone accessory. While it’ll likely start that way with early models, the company’s goal is to completely redefine mobile computing, and sources say it believes wearable technology like this could almost entirely replace mobile computing. iPhone in ten years.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]