DigiTimes: Apple Partnering With Valve to Develop AR Headset

DigiTimes is reporting this morning that Apple has partnered with U.S. game developer Valve to develop its rumored AR headset, which is expected to launch next year.


Apple reportedly has partnered with US game developer Valve to develop AR head-mounted display devices, which may be released in the second half of 2020 at the earliest, with Taiwan's ODMs Quanta Computer and Pegatron said to handle the assembly job, according to industry sources.
Creator of the popular Steam digital storefront and delivery platform, Valve launched Steam machine consoles in 2015 and released its first VR headset, Valve Index, in April 2019.

Notably, Valve worked with Apple in 2017 to bring native VR headset support to macOS High Sierra, leveraging the operating system's then-new eGPU support with a Mac version of Valve's SteamVR software. However, Apple's latest partnership with the company is said to be focused on AR, not VR.
Apple will cooperate with Valve on AR headsets rather than VR devices, as its CEO Tim Cook believes that AR can make digital content become part of the user's world and will be as popular as smartphones with consumers. This has also promoted Apple to step up the development of AR software by recruiting more engineers for graphic design, system interface and system architecture segments.
Back in July, DigiTimes reported that Apple had temporarily stopped developing AR/VR headsets and that the team working on them was disbanded in May and reassigned to other product developments.

However, according to the latest information from the Taiwan website's sources, Apple was actually in the process of shifting from in-house development to collaborative development with Valve.

Just last month, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was cooperating with third-party brands to launch its first head-mounted AR product. Kuo believes Apple's AR headset is rumored to enter mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year in time for an early 2020 launch.

Code found in Xcode 11 and iOS 13 as recently as September has confirmed that Apple is still working on an augmented reality headset of some kind. In addition, there is an icon within the internal Find My app bundlede picting what appears to be an AR or VR headset that looks similar to the Google Cardboard.

MacRumors concept of Apple Glasses

Kuo has said Apple's glasses would be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone.

As early as November 2017, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple's headset would run a custom iOS-based operating system dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system." At the time, Gurman said Apple had not finalized how users would control the headset, but possibilities included touchscreens, Siri voice activation, and head gestures.

Apple originally aimed to have its AR product ready by 2019, but the company is said to have been relaxed about not shipping a product until 2020.

Quanta Computer and Pegatron are said to be handling the manufacturing and assembly job for Apple's headset. Quanta can reportedly produce AR headsets at a lower cost by leveraging camera lens technology licensed by Lumus, according to today's report.

DigiTimes' sources often provide reliable information, but the site has a mixed track record when it comes to interpreting that information and accurately deciphering Apple's plans, so treat this report with the necessary degree of skepticism for now until we can corroborate it from other sources.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
First app: Half Life 3
Rating: 19 Votes
2 weeks ago
Just imagine Apple buying Valve and getting all those games and turning Steam into a part of Apple Arcade. This should be fun.
Rating: 10 Votes
2 weeks ago
I stopped reading after "Digitimes..."
Rating: 9 Votes
2 weeks ago


Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability. The issue is market share and bad porting. But this is gradually going to change.
Check MrMacright YouTube channels:

Ok so what you mean is that in theory MacOS could be a better platform for gaming but in practice it's not, because it lacks the necessary support and optimisations Windows gets.
Also honestly I haven't seen things evolve in Mac's favour when it comes to gaming and I don't see why they should. Nvidia, one of the biggest forces in AAA gaming doesn't work very with MacOS and the Metal API when it comes to AAA gaming is actually a disadvantage for Apple's platform. It would be way more productive for Apple if they would support Vulkan. Between DirectX 12, Vulkan and Metal, Apple's API will be in the last place in terms of support from game developers.
Rating: 8 Votes
2 weeks ago
Fast-forward 10 years and I think anyone who was pooh-poohing the concept of AR glasses will be eating their words
Rating: 7 Votes
2 weeks ago


Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability.


In what way is Metal better than Direct3D for gaming?
In what way is macOS more stable than Windows when it comes to gaming?

How can macOS be a better gaming platform than Windows when the graphics card vendors (AMD and Nvidia currently) are focusing so heavily on driver optimization even for specific games?

It sounds to me that you mean macOS has the potential to be a better gaming platform than Windows, but it currently sure isn't. :)
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago
Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability. The issue is market share and bad porting. But this is gradually going to change.
Check MrMacright YouTube channels:
[URL unfurl="true"]//www.youtube.com/channel/UC7CwWhhUmy-8sDvyyA15weA[/URL]
I've made a video buy myself about eGPU gaming, it is in Italian anyway:
[MEDIA=youtube]2OyQZyQrryY[/MEDIA]
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago

Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability.

It's just us missing the joke here or are you actually serious?
If the latter, it begs the question what the very reason are, which led you believe it would be even remotely reflecting reality? The [S]Mac OS[/S] macOS itself can't be it, since it lacks many of the fundamental basics for a system you could attribute such benefits towards to.

Just have the permanent forced Apple-typical update-cycle on application-software, which always was a matter of sink or swim for their customers, to not only stay up-to-date but even have the most basics things remain functioning (as Apple obviously loves to either break things completely or remove features altogether the recent years).

And that's all well prior to feeling the grip to overcome Apple's continuous ******** on their customers by degrading quite new a year old hardware to not get the latest system on purpose, [ISPOILER]»… Because **** you! We're Apple and we command you to either buy the most recent stuff every god-damn year all over again – or alternatively get lost on your second year's old pile of legacy-shice. Since _we_ decide who's participating within the pinnacle of fancyness!«.[/ISPOILER]

So what's next? Metal?
That proprietary API which again is doomed to fail since Apple saw it fit to get rid of OpenGL altogether (and with that, break every backwards-compatibility, again) just to get incompatible to everything else on purpose again, despite it's virtually some Vulkan-flavoured copy-pasta anyway?

Then again, just look on how Apple always prevented their user-base to have any decent graphics ever since by either shipping some age-old mid-range graphics-cards which have become such a joke over time or even expecting them to get after external GPUs (which are crippled using the way they're connected anyway). It's a tragedy for sure.

And no, I haven't forgot about their surrounding software-stack when it comes to graphics. It's just that is has become that abysmal and worse over the course of the years, it isn't even worth mentioning.

So why is that you ask?

See, game-developers ain't notoriously famous for targeting end-user's possibly existing contingencies that special equipments might be available at the targeted user-base. They ain't and they never were – since it's imposing a high potential risk that they ain't going to sell any greater numbers of copies of their product first and foremost (due to a rather non-existing sales market in the first place).

They always aiming for the least common denominator within the target's market – to widening their possibly existing clientele of end-users to the maximum possible. Since every condition which needs to be necessarily in place prior for their games to be played in the first place (and thus, bought), accidentally narrows their targeted audience and resulting clientele of potential buyers even more. Possibly existing op·tion·al hardware like external decent graphics-cards aka eGPUs on a consumer's Mac ain't necessarily counting towards that, but a dedicated one alone and exclusively.

Who would've thought that? Your point again?

The thing is that Apple throughout the years tossed every effort of game-developers to find that common denominator again by steadily rising new techniques and killing the next one over and over again – well, apart from giving a darn shice about their OS's performance in the first place anyway, I might add. *cough Finder!

The issue is market share and bad porting.

Yes, the issue is porting, exactly. … and no, it isn't market-share!
It it were, we woulnd't've had witnessed the classical Mac OS or even the earlier versions of Mac OS X (up to 10.4 Tiger) sporting greater numbers of triple-A franchises and others titles as we see today when the Mac as a platform even had a smaller market-share.

It's the very attractivity for de·vel·op·ing towards that very platform, which makes it worthwhile – and eventually financially reliable enough to code for. Since curiously enough, even coders can't live on [S]love[/S] coffee alone, even if they may code in Java.

… and speaking about money, Apple's everlasting arrogance for having to pay for even being allowed to develop for the Mac in the first place, is hard to beat when it comes to any decadency – though it always was that way, even back in my Macintosh-days with the god-awful MPW.

However, Apple has done everything in their power to kill off every darn effort of developers to develop games for their platform (the Mac OS) by crippling their architectures with laughable performance-advancements Gen to Gen, preventing graphic-cards vendors doing their jobs (by demanding the sovereignty of given drivers to be released on their platform) and whatnot.

For instance, it came as no surprise that AMD/nVidia after a while just said „You know what? We've enough from your shenanigans. Make your graphics and especially the drivers for them on your own if you're so damn keen about it“.

But this is gradually going to change.

This has been said since like 1998 when the iMac came out.

Funny enough, the Mac OS was decent and could be seen as a smaller major game-platform the developing of even bigger games was more than lucrative for. That was the case as long as Apple didn't **** on backwards-compatibility every few months again and kept on dividing their customer-base hardware-wise.

We even had that golden times where most major triple-A franchises like Battlefield, Quake, Call of Duty, Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Age of Empires, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon, Sid Meier's Civilization, F1 Championship and other racing games, Fallout, Splinter Cell, Diablo, MaX Payne, Doom, the Total War-series and ailke (just to name a few prominent ones) were released for the Mac. It was a time when even ultra-niche game-developers like Paradox saw a market on the Mac as a platform and released Europa Universalis or Victoria, yet even the U.S. military saw the Mac as some major platform it's worth developing for when they developed Armerica's Army for it. Many titles even were Mac-exclusive.

It was at a time where there wasn't the question if some triple-A title will come to the Mac, but just when.
People enjoyed that times greatly, whereas Apple saw it likely with pure disgust.

Apple killed that as they saw it with ever-increasing disgrace that more and more people could afford a Mac and were keen to even play on those. That were the early years of Mac OS X. Heck, even the classical Mac OS like System 6 through Mac OS 9.2.1 saw more games than [S]Mac OS[/S] macOS is seeing now.

tl;dr: Apple (alone) continuously kills gaming on a Mac, and no-one else – and they ever had.
          In addition, developing games is a business-decision, it always were.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago


Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability.


We would all appreciate it if you didn't post lies. Thank you.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago
LOL. Smoking the good stuff?

Macs don't have great graphic cards for starters which hampers good gaming performance. Windows PCs will always be the better games platform - far better value for money - costing far less for a more powerful gaming rig than any Mac can offer. My gaming PC has been rock solid, in terms of stability.


Not true, macOS is a better platform for gaming the Windows thanks to Metal and stability. The issue is market share and bad porting. But this is gradually going to change.
Check MrMacright YouTube channels:
[URL unfurl="true"]//www.youtube.com/channel/UC7CwWhhUmy-8sDvyyA15weA[/URL]
I've made a video buy myself about eGPU gaming, it is in Italian anyway:
[MEDIA=youtube]2OyQZyQrryY[/MEDIA]

Rating: 3 Votes

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