Apple preps ‘pricey’ virtual reality headset, to be followed by AR smartglasses

Apple’s first attempt at a headset is designed to be a “pricey,” high-end niche precursor to more ambitious augmented reality (AR) smartglasses that will take longer to develop, Bloomberg News reports, citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple U.S. patent application illustration
Apple U.S. patent application illustration

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view of the real world, will be more limited. Apple has planned to launch the product as soon as 2022, going up against Facebook Inc.’s Oculus, Sony Corp.’s PlayStation VR and headsets from HTC Corp., the people said.

The plans suggest that Apple’s first headset will be far more expensive than those from rivals, which cost about $300 to $900. Some Apple insiders believe the company may sell only one headset per day per retail store.

Apple is aiming to include some of its most advanced and powerful chips in the headset along with displays that are much higher-resolution than those in existing VR products. Some of the chips tested in the device beat the performance of Apple’s M1 Mac processors. The company has also designed the headset with a fan, something the company usually tries to avoid on mobile products, the people said… Prototypes of the headset, some of which are about the size of an Oculus Quest, include external cameras to enable some AR features.

The headset, codenamed N301, is in a late prototype stage, but is not yet finalized so the company’s plans could change or be scrapped entirely before launch. The AR glasses, codenamed N421, are in an early stage known as “architecture,” meaning Apple is still working on underlying technologies. This product is several years away, according to the people, though Apple has previously targeted as early as 2023 to unveil it.

MacDailyNews Take: The big, “pricey” VR headset will be another (big) step on the long road to true, light, powerful Apple AR smartglasses that allow developers another avenue to product apps and content that will be ready and waiting once the company overcomes the technical challenges.


  1. Pricey from Apple means probably $2500. This obviously will mean little or no general software support i.e. other than from Apple itself. This is going to be a long road before it becomes generally usable.

    1. Nah.Not $2,500. Apple’s products are valmost eaver2.8x the competition. They’re more like 1.2 – 1.5 times the competition. So $1,500 could possibly happen.

      The most interesting statement is, “Some of the chips tested in the device beat the performance of Apple’s M1 Mac processors.”IF true that would be some very impressive hardware and bodes very well for the M2 capabilities.

    1. Posted earlier with a link to a funny but true political cartoon that was, I guess too strong for MDN’s TOS, but the cartoon was of two men at a bar and one says to the other, “I don’t vote. They’ve got machines that do that now.”

    1. Sorry TxLuser. You have four years of this coming to you. Because, just like your side, they never could give it a break!

      If you have to cheat to win, you’re still a loser. – the Joe Biden ethos

      1. I really find it fascinating that Americans find it more plausible that a conspiracy involving thousands of people, a great deal of them republican, several government agencies, the US postal system and the US justice system, all banded together to steal the election from Donald ‘bullshit’ Trump.

        This is more believable, than Trump losing the election, simply because he totally fucked up managing the coronavirus crisis. Trump rejected scientific advice, medical advice and made wearing masks a political matter, rather than a health matter. He totally decided your nation to the point of insurrection. Do you not think this would make him unpopular with more than half of voters?

        Those people complaining of changed voting rules for mail in ballots before the election, well those rules were the same for both Democrats and republicans alike. You can’t complain after the election just because you lost and now don’t like those rules.
        That should have all been sorted before the election.

        And who was the person who started all the talk about fraudulent mail in ballots weeks before election? You guessed it, the biggest bullshitter himself, your mighty president. The man who has been fact checked thousands of times and has been shown to be outright lying, tell half truths, and exaggerating. This habitual liar and his clown lawyer are the only ones telling the truth, everyone else who ran the election is lying?


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