According to a Bloomberg report, the long-awaited, rumored, magical unicorn that is Apple’s mixed-reality headset will feature the company’s latest M2 processor. The oft-reliable Mark Gurman is responsible for the report and he indicates that Apple is launching a bevy of new products from this fall through the first half of 2023.
Gurman states, “The new products will include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV. ”
Apple dropping an M3 CPU so soon after the M2 seems like a stretch, but according to Gurman, Apple, “is about to embark on one of the most ambitious periods of new products in its history.”
According to Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, another reliable source, it appears that Apple’s upcoming augmented reality headset will arrive with dual processors. Kuo claims the headset will launch during Q4 2022 and come with one high-end CPU and a lower-end CPU handling sensor-related computing needs. While Kuo stated the higher-end CPU would be similar to the M1 processor, Gurman believes it will be an M2 CPU.
Kuo stated, “Apple’s AR headset requires a separate processor as the computing power of the sensor is significantly higher than that of the iPhone. For example, the AR headset requires at least 6-8 optical modules to simultaneously provide users continuous video see-through AR services. ”
Tim Cook recently shared with China Daily that “I am incredibly excited about AR, as you may know, and the critical thing in any technology, including AR, is putting humanity at the center of it.” Cook followed with, “stay tuned, and you will see what we have to offer.”
Apple appears ready to make a massive push into the mixed reality space and challenge the current overlord, Meta. However, let’s keep in mind that Meta’s Quest 2 costs $ 299, but rumors have put Apple’s mixed reality entry price tag in the $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 range. Even Meta’s rumored Project Cambria that Zuckerberg touted as “completely new, advanced and high-end” is estimated to land short of the low-end estimates for the Apple AR / VR headset. While a full VR headset with a VR-ready laptop to power it will easily push you into the $ 3,000 plus territory, the only standalone headset we’ve seen in that range is Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and that’s an Enterprise play rather than a consumer product.
Needless to say regardless of what’s powering the Apple AR / VR headset we are exceedingly intrigued to see what Apple has created, so here’s hoping Gurman is right and we are just months away from finally seeing it unveiled.