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Apple VR release date: Lightweight headset that could function independently from iPhones likely to launch next year

Photo credit: Medhat Dawoud (@medhatdawoud) / Unsplash

Apple has yet to reveal official details about its first-ever virtual reality (VR) headset, but reports are rife that it could be released sometime next year. While the device has yet to be finalized, the company is believed to be planning it to be lightweight and aiming for it to function independently.

Apple VR might only weigh 200 grams with iPhone-independent functions

The latest information about the Apple VR headset comes from a recent investor note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He reported that the existing prototypes for the device currently weigh 200 grams to 300 grams.

The average weight of existing VR headsets is reportedly between 380 grams to 600 grams. However, Apple is expected to scale it down further. Kuo expects Apple to achieve a final headset weight of between 100 grams to 200 grams once the company finalizes the design and resolves the existing technical issues in the prototypes.

Unlike many VR headsets in the market today, Apple appears to be aiming for its first VR product work on its own. That would mean it could come off the box with its own processor, GPU, and storage drive, so it will not need to be connected to an iPhone or other Apple devices to function.

The unannounced headset is expected to be billed as more of a “portable product” rather than a “mobile device.” Apple is likely aiming for it to work compatibly with its subscription-based apps such as the AppleTV+. It is also predicted to sport several micro-OLED displays supplied by Sony.

What is interesting about Kuo’s notes, though, is the pricing. The analyst sees the first Apple VR selling for around $1,000, which is close to the pricing of iPhone Pro models.

That is a couple of thousands cheaper than what was mentioned in earlier reports. But 9To5Mac, which obtained a copy of Kuo’s report, pointed out that the analyst studies activities in the supply chain, so his prediction could be different from the actual pricing once the device launches in the market.

Apple VR release date

Meanwhile, Kuo’s notes on the Apple VR headset’s release date matches with previous reports -- the device could be launched in 2022. Apple has been actively developing apps and other programs for augmented reality. But the headset has been previously described as the company’s “precursor” product for its much-awaited AR glasses. It is then not surprising if the Apple VR headset enters the market before Apple’s AR glasses.

Featured photo by Medhat Dawoud on Unsplash

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