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Apple scraps plans for AR glasses in favor of mixed-reality headsets

In another episode of ‘As the World Turns,’ Apple chooses mixed reality headset over AR glasses in latest product shift.

apple vr headset render on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

If you had money on Apple releasing its budget-minded AR glasses this year, you might want to consider paying up. As it turns out, it’s not happening anytime soon.

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reports that Apple is putting the project on ice “due to technical challenges.” Instead, the company is refocusing its efforts on premium and budget mixed-reality headsets.

The premium mixed-reality version will reportedly launch this year.

It wouldn’t be completely out of line to suggest seeing it as early as late spring, when Apple holds its annual WWDC developer conference event in June.

Breaking down Apple’s various headsets

apple vr headset render on a purple background
A mockup of the reported premium mixed-reality headset (Image: KnowTechie via The Information’s render leak)

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry; it has me scratching my head as I write this. So let’s break it down:

  • The AR glasses are the product that has been put on pause and possibly canceled.
  • A premium mixed-reality (AR/VR) headset is expected to launch this year and carry a hefty $3,000 price tag.
  • A budget mixed-reality (AR/VR) headset is also reportedly in the works, but isn’t expected to launch until 2024 or 2025.

Of course, it’s important to remember that Apple has yet to confirm literally any of these products, so take everything with a grain of salt.

AR Glasses are hard

Bloomberg’s sources suggest “Apple will follow up with a lower-cost version of the mixed-reality headset as soon as 2024 or early 2025.”

Developing consumer-friendly AR glasses are hard. For example, look at Google Glass or Microsoft Hololens. When was the last time you heard anything new about those? Exactly.

So, keep your eyes peeled for a premium headset to launch this year. But at this point, it’s still early to speculate, and nothing is concrete until Apple makes an announcement.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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