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April 20, 2023
2 Min Read
Rumors say Apple will enter the AR/VR market with its own full-featured headset around mid-year. ROBYN BECK/ AFP Collection/Via Getty Images
There have long been rumors of a new Apple AR/VR headset, with much speculation about what the final product will be and do. While Apple remains tight-lipped about what is coming and when there has been a flurry of reports this week that strongly suggest the much-anticipated device could indeed shake up the consumer electronics space and give the company a much-needed boost.
A tweet reported in an article on Macworld quoted a source saying he was "completely blown away" by the hardware and firmware present in a demo of the new headset. Speculation abounds that the new headset will resemble goggles rather than glasses and incorporate an Apple M2 chip, custom image processor, advanced head-tracking technology, 4K screens, and be able to run Apple apps.
According to an online article in Tom's Guide, another consumer electronics site, the device could incorporate a host of e-gaming, media consumption, and communications capabilities, it may also be costly, with a report projecting a cost upwards of $2,000.
The Tom's Guide report also said the new headset would come with Apple's new M2 chip, and incorporate patented technology to track finger and hand movements. Other rumors say the headset will come with a 96-W Macbook charger and possibly an external battery pack. The device will also support the latest Wi-Fi standard, 6E, for high-speed communications.
While published reports suggest the device could be ready in time for Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, slated for early June, though there are also rumblings that the device may not be quite ready yet. An online report on 9to5Mac, quoting the New York Times, said anonymous Apple employees expressed skepticism about the upcoming headset, stating they are not convinced the product will appeal to customers.
Slow Laptop, Phone Sales
Whatever features the new headset comes with, the attention might do the electronics company some good as sales of its bread-and-butter smartphones and laptops have lagged during the recent economic slowdown.
A recent report by Gartner said global PC shipments declined by 30% during the first quarter of 2023, with sales of Apple's PCs down by 34.2% year-over-year. In the U.S., Apple's PC shipments were down 33.5% year-over-year, the steepest decline among major PC vendors. Gartner attributed falling sales to political unrest, inflation, interest rate increases, and the pending recession.
Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].
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