Apple AR glasses: concept reportedly delayed, but mixed-reality headset on track for 2023
Two mixed-reality headsets may come before Apple's lightweight AR glasses ever see the light of day
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple AR glasses delay
🥽 Apple’s AR glasses concept has been delayed, says new report
🤔 Technical challenges of making lightweight AR glasses at fault
🎮 High-end mixed-reality headset still reportedly on track for 2023
💰 Lower-cost mixed-reality headset planned for 2024 or early 2025
The Apple AR glasses concept that’s been rumored for a few years won’t be on your face any time soon, according to a new report that suggests they’ve been delayed.
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Apple’s AR glasses have been “postponed due to technical challenges,” writes Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In fact, his reporting suggests that Apple’s lightweight augmented reality glasses appear to be many years away – if they happen at all.
There’s a lot of hype around AR glasses right now – I tried a few pairs at CES 2023, like the TCL RayNeo X2 AR glasses. I thought the idea was so forward-thinking, I gave it one of our 13 trophies as part of The Shortcut CES Awards.
It’s very cool and a sign of things to come, but it also told me why we won’t see Apple AR glasses anytime soon: the tech just isn’t there yet – at least not for the lay-back-and-wait perfectionist Apple. The miniaturized display, chip and, importantly, battery haven’t come together for a product that’s destined to one day replace the iPhone.
Apple’s mixed-reality headset on track for 2023
These harder-to-make lightweight Apple AR glasses shouldn’t be confused with the rumored Apple AR/VR headset that could come as soon as this Spring or at WWDC in June. By then, we’ll have a full Sony PSVR 2 review (it launches on February 22), and that’s more along the line of what I expect to see from Apple in 2023.
For months, Gurman and other Apple analysts have served up leaks regarding the Cupertino company’s plan to launch an expensive mixed-reality headset that does virtual and augmented reality and has gone by the name “Reality Pro.”
The suggestion is that it’ll cost $3,000 and include more than 10 cameras, multiple sensors and a Mac-grade M2 processor (possibly named “Reality Processor”). In addition to the very convincing PSVR 2, it’ll face off with the HTC Vive XR Elite (scheduled for March 31) and the Meta Oculus Quest 3 (likely coming this fall).
Instead of Apple AR glasses in 2024…
So what’s after this year’s anticipated mixed-reality headset if there are no Apple AR glasses in the pipeline? A more consumer-friendly and cheaper (in the ballpark of $1,500) VR headset, says Gurman, possibly named “Reality One.”
This would make sense – get developers and early adopters onboard with a high-priced Pro AR/VR headset in 2023, then target consumers with a cheaper product that’s roughly half the price in 2024 when an AR/VR ecosystem has been established.
Only when Apple’s AR glasses concept is ready for prime time – and a few Android manufacturers attempt to go first – will we see a pair of lightweight glasses give us iPhone 1 vibes. The question I have is: at the unveiling, will Tim Cook pull them out of his front shirt pocket or exclaim: “In fact, I’ve been wearing them… the whole time.”