Ming-Chi Kuo continues his coverage of the supply chain for Apple’s future headset gadget, which is likely to combine augmented reality and virtual reality capabilities. The user will put on the headset and look at one of two ultra-high-resolution OLED displays, one for each eye, which will show a video feed of the world around them and render virtual surroundings on top of it.
However, such capabilities mean that the device’s CPU and GPU demands are considerable, resulting in higher power consumption. In fact, Kuo claims that Apple would provide a 96-watt power charger with the headset, similar to the one that comes with the 14-inch MacBook Pro.
This is in line with prior Kuo predictions that the headset would be Mac-class Apple Silicon performance. The 14-inch MacBook Pro that comes with the 96-watt charger has an M1 Pro chip, a 10-core CPU, and a 16-core GPU, albeit you can’t draw a straight line here. The headgear will most likely be in that ballpark, but with a beefier Neural Engine for quick picture analysis.
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It goes without saying that these specifications are far superior to those found in an iPhone or even an iPad. The onboard battery will have to be somewhat substantial, adding to the headset’s weight. It’s also more proof that the smartphone will only last a few hours on a charge; according to Bloomberg, Apple does not aim to market the iPhone as an all-day device.
The first prototype of the Apple headset is likely to be high-spec but pricey, with most rumors putting the price tag at $1000 or more, with one report putting it as high as $3000. According to some reports, the first-generation headgear will mostly be sold as a developer kit.
Annual exports are expected to be at 3 million in 2023, rising to 15 million in 2025, according to Kuo. In the 2024 timeframe, Kuo anticipates the release of a second-generation headgear that will be lighter and less expensive to purchase.
Apple’s new product category will not be publicly unveiled for a few months. The headset is expected to be shown at either WWDC in June or a special media event later in the year, according to most observers.