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Apple XR Headset Rumors & Metaverse Leaks: How it Can Reshape the XR Landscape in 2023?

Table of Contents

Apple Leaks and Rumors: XR Headset

Last year, we heard many Apple rumors, leaks, and mainly Apple AR rumors from sources that are reportedly close to Apple, enough to wonder if the entire thing is a well-planned PR campaign to stir interest, set the stage, and keep the competitors on their tiptoes. “Breaking News Apple XR” or even “Apple Leaks VR Developments” articles have flooded the media since early 2022. The rumors are, of course, about the much-anticipated Apple headset. In our previous article ‘Apple MR Headset & Apple Glasses, the Next Big News of 2022?” we covered some of these rumors and leaks connected to two potential Apple Headsets. The Apple MR Headset and Apple Glasses were believed to be launched in early 2023 and late 2023-mid 2024, respectively.

Now that we have entered 2023, we are finally approaching the possible launch of a PR event. Anticipated in Q2 2023, growing Apple event rumors make us believe it will likely happen before the June Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Thus, we looked at everything we know about the new Apple headset in light of recent developments. Firstly, it is essential to note that different sources, including BloombergCNBCTechRadar, and MacRumors, report that we can expect an XR device with incorporated AR and VR capabilities. This means that even though we might run into more Apple VR rumors or, most likely, the Apple VR headset rumors, we are pretty unlikely to have Apple launch a purely VR headset. At this point, all Apple VR leaks can be shaped only into incorporated VR capabilities. So, how come we keep on coming across Apple VR headset leaks and Apple VR rumors? Most likely, it concerns the key market competitors, but let’s return to this topic later in the article.

According to different sources, the Apple XR headset, likely called Reality Pro, could be a compact, lightweight, M2 Apple chip powered, with a 120-degree Field of View (FoV), allowing to switch between AR and VR modes. The device is reported to incorporate corrective lenses and automatically adjusted distance, hand tracking, an outward-facing display, and a slick Apple design built from glass, carbon fiber & aluminum. The device could integrate within the Apple device ecosystem – Mac, AirPods, iPhone and use iris scanning for authentication. According to rumors, the Apple XR headset could run on a waist-mounted battery, making it suitable for prolonged use. According to some estimates, it is priced between $ 2000 and 3000 and going on sale in Q3 of 2023.

Image Source: Midjourney / DALL-E 2 prompted by MIXED
Image Source: Midjourney / DALL-E 2 prompted by MIXED

Even with all the hardware and software leaks, we still need a comprehensive view of all Apple XR headset capabilities. However, we can already see the direction in which this new device could stir the XR industry landscape of 2023, including the hardware market reshaping, ecosystem trends, competitor impact, and entering the Metaverse. So, rather than giving another in-depth device overview, today, we would like to elaborate on these predictions.

Apple XR Headset: Taking Significant Hardware Market Share

Apple is one of the largest global tech giants, with over 1.5 billion sold units of iPhones by 2022, remaining one of the most popular worldwide smartphones. The company has a significant consumer base, reporting a 72 Net Promoter Score (NPS) in 2022, making Apple consumer loyalty one of the best in the industry, with each new device becoming successful in its class. Considering the reputation, anticipation, and customer interest, we can expect the Apple XR headset, which will probably be referred to as the Apple AR headset or even the Apple VR headset, to make a major splash in the XR hardware market, taking a significant share in this ever-growing landscape, even if only based on the customer base made of loyal consumers. This will undoubtedly impact the XR technology market size, accelerate growth, innovation, and, most importantly, XR content consumption, taking us even one step closer to mass XR adaptation. Nevertheless, the Apple XR headset is highly anticipated among non-Apple consumers.

Apple is known for its standards of product design, one of the critical points of which is the capability of Apple devices to serve a unified and comprehensive user experience. Thus, setting their own Apple industry trends would not come as much of a surprise. Nevertheless, the Apple XR headset is anticipated to join the Apple device ecosystem, connecting with the new series of Apple devices, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, Watch, and AirPods. While there is still no precise Apple XR news, we expect the Apple XR headset to set the stage for technology incorporation into everyday activities, a much smoother transition vs. if it were a stand-alone device. Even though the trend is not new, and Microsoft and Meta are on the ecosystem bandwagon, connecting everyday gadgets to XR capabilities will accelerate consumer readiness for a vaster technology adaptation. We expect tech giants to approach their products more from a connected ecosystem perspective, enabling seamless end-user integration.

Apple XR Competitor Impact

Apple XR headset entry is bound to stir up some exciting rivalry between the XR headset producers in 2023. As a major tech player, Apple is a force to be reckoned with that will push XR competitors to accelerate their technology development, especially if the rumored AR glasses Apple became a reality. At this point, we can see a couple of XR devices that can be viewed in terms of 2023 main competitors to the Apple XR headset, from at least a price range perspective. The Meta Quest Pro – an enterprise-aimed, potentially consumer VR device that incorporates Mixed Reality capabilities, with a competitive price of USD 1,499.99. As well as the noteworthy new HTC Vive XR Elite launched at CES 2023 and priced at USD 1,099. While we still need the full scope of tech specs for a comprehensive comparison, we expect heated competition. The competition that the Apple XR headset will accelerate in 2023 will become a key milestone of XR device advancement. And we expect it to accelerate even further toward the end of the year, as Apple still has Apple AR Glasses rumored to follow in 2024.

Apple Joining the Metaverse

While Meta has made a turning point announcement of their Metaverse goals, Apple has been among tech giants that took a while to jump on the Metaverse bandwagon. Instead, Apple has approached this topic by accentuating AR technology’s potential and its mass global incorporation. Even though Apple has been quite discreet with its immersive technology announcements, the company has long been planning to enter the next generation of the internet, the Web 3.0 or the Metaverse. We have seen the company taking steps, including the AR RealityKit launch, device LiDAR incorporation, Apple’s long story of purchases of AR developers & AR lens producers, and the upcoming XR headset and Apple Glasses launch. While Apple doesn’t make a clear statement on the Metaverse, there is no doubt that Apple will be stirring XR and the Metaverse concept from its own, primarily AR-based, perspective. Apple is likely to bet on vast consumer adaptation of AR technology through their device digital capabilities and overlays to naturally blend into everyday life rather than building an Apple Metaverse and expecting users to follow out of a desire for innovation.

In Conclusion

In any case, Apple has kept us keeping an eye on the company activities, with any size of news causing an uproar in the media. While we still need to find out how good the Apple XR device will be, Apple has kept us intrigued for 2023, making it another groundbreaking year for XR technology. Even though Apple XR will, without a doubt, make a significant splash in the XR industry, make sure to explore other major 2023 XR Technology trends.

Authors: Alex Dzyuba, Lucid Reality Labs Founder & CEO | Anna Rohi, Lucid Reality Labs Senior Marketing & Communications Manager


What Apple AR/VR Headset Could?

Apple AR VR headset, or Apple Reality Pro, could incorporate AR and VR features. Depending on the functional capacity, the VR capabilities could enable using the headset for VR simulations, training, upskilling, and reskilling in various industries. The AR capabilities could be used as a medium to engage with natural environments enhanced with digital overlays.

How Much Apple AR Headset Could Cost?

Rumors predict the upcoming Apple XR headset to fall within the $ 2,000 to 3000 price range. This range is a fair estimate based on several factors, including Apple’s price positioning, direct competitor price ranges, and general market pricing benchmarks. Speaking of the potential Apple Glasses launch, we could envision it falling into a similar price range within the same price range as Apple XR headset due to its immersive capabilities.

When Apple AR Headset Would Be Available for Consumers?

Considering the level of speculation and rumors even around the launch date of the Apple XR headset, we still need a Press statement from Apple. Since 2022, the launch date has kept moving and is now expected in Q2, before the Apple WWDC. Given this estimate, as with many Apple products, the most likely consumer available date is sometime during fall 2023, closer to mid-Q4.

What is the First Apple AR Headset to Launch?

The first Apple headset to launch will be the Apple AR/VR headset or Apple Reality Pro. From technological perspectives and promised immersive capabilities, this headset can be called an Extended Reality (XR) device.

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