Apple's latest and coolest product could be released at the same time as the iPhone 15 line
Apple might introduce its Mixed Reality headset, possibly named the "Reality Pro," during the WWDC Developers Conference in June according to the latest rumors. But today, reliable TF International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet that for certain reasons, the product might not be released until the third quarter of 2023 alongside the iPhone 15 series.
Kuo says the Reality Pro mixed reality headset might be released alongside the iPhone 15 line
You might recall that last month Kuo said that Apple was facing delays because of issues that surfaced during mechanical drop testing. Also blamed for the delay, software development tools were not available on time. As a result, the analyst pushed back his timeline and called for mass shipping of the AR/VR headset to take place in the third quarter of this year instead of the second quarter.
Kuo tweets that the Reality Pro might be released alongside iPhone 15 line
Kuo also sharply reduced his estimate of total shipments for 2023 from his original 800,000-1.2 million units to just 500,000 headsets. The Reality Pro has been said by those familiar with the product, to be the most complex device ever manufactured by Apple. It is expected to carry a price tag in the neighborhood of $2,000-$3,000 (that's some ritzy neighborhood).
Apple has introduced a product before and then waited a few months before releasing it. Right off the bat, we can say that this was done with the original iPhone and the original Apple Watch. This probably is a good strategy for Apple since it will give developers an opportunity to create more apps for the product since no one wants to spend big bucks for the headset only to find a barren App Store.
The headset will run a new operating system known as xrOS (extended reality Operating System) and supposedly will feature 12 cameras, head and body tracking sensors, spatial audio, and a 4K micro-LED display for each eye. A Digital Crown will be used to quickly take users from the immersive world of Virtual Reality (with realistic simulations of certain environments) to Augmented Reality. The latter superimposes a layer of computer-generated data on top of a real-world feed.
The Reality Pro will likely be powered by a 5nm Apple M2 chip equipped with 20 billion transistors.
The iPhone 15 series is expected to be introduced and released in September. This year, the line could include the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Ultra. We could see the non-Pro models equipped with a 48MP Wide camera on the back, replacing the 12MP sensors, and all four models are expected to sport the multitasking Dynamic Island. The premium models are rumored to have a titanium build and the iPhone 15 Ultra could feature a periscope camera for enhanced optical zoom.
The second-generation versions of the headset will be released by Apple in 2025
Kuo also said today in a blog post that the second-generation headsets will have two high-end and two low-end models. These units won't be released until 2025. A joint venture between Apple suppliers Luxshare and Pegatron called Luxcaseict will develop and produce the high-end headsets. The low-end models will be the responsibility of Foxconn.
One of the biggest differences between the first-generation and second-generation models will be the pricing. Component prices will have dropped in price. Apple will also have a better idea of how to assemble the product which should raise yields and allow Apple to reduce the cost to consumers. We'd also assume that Apple will remove some features, especially with the low-end models, to allow more consumers to buy the headset.
If Apple has learned one important lesson from the iPhone, it is that getting hardware into as many hands as possible will drive recurring subscription payments and other software purchases. Whatever revenue Apple doesn't collect by selling a more affordable version of the Reality Pro, it should more than recoup by selling users apps, subscriptions, and other services.
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