Apple's AR/VR Headset Could Come With a Monthly Subscription Service

Apple's long-rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset could come with a monthly subscription service, according to a report from TrendForce.

apple ar headset concept 1Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo

In a report forecasting the growing sales of AR and VR devices from major tech companies in 2022, TrendForce said that Apple's headset will likely be consumer-oriented with similar pricing to Microsoft's HoloLens, which starts at $3,500. Crucially, TrendForce suggests that Apple could offer its headset with a monthly subscription for a software service. The report states (with emphasis our own):

Strong shipments of Oculus and Microsoft products will likely force Apple to release relevant products to join the competition this year. However, TrendForce states, considering hardware performance requirements and gross profit margins, Apple will likely target the commercial market and adopt the same pricing strategy as HoloLens, hardware priced in the thousands of dollars and a monthly subscription-based software solution. Overall, TrendForce believes that the launch of new products this year by Apple, Meta, and Sony may be delayed and will not add significant growth to the overall AR/VR market for the time being.

This is the first time Apple's headset has been explicitly rumored to be accompanied by a subscription service, but it seems likely that the device will at least integrate with some of the services included in the Apple One bundles, such as Apple Music.

It is unclear what a headset-specific software service could offer, given that the three rumored key features of the device, gaming, media consumption, and communication, are already offered by the likes of Apple Arcade, Apple TV+ and ‌Apple Music‌, and FaceTime.

The software Apple's headset will run has been the source of much discussion, including how ‌FaceTime‌ is expected to rely on Memojis and SharePlay and the relevance of the company's insightful patents. The headset itself is rumored to run "rOS" or "realityOS," internally codenamed "Oak." Apple's work on realityOS has been rumored since 2017, but the existence of the operating system was recently confirmed when references to it were found in App Store upload logs and Apple open source code.

Despite enthusiasm over Apple's AR and VR project finally "approaching liftoff" for launch this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that the launch of the headset will likely be delayed until 2023. For more information, see our detailed roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Related Stories

apple ar headset concept 2

Video: Would You Pay $2000+ for Apple's AR/VR Headset?

Friday February 11, 2022 12:35 pm PST by
Apple hasn't come out with a new product category since the 2018 launch of the HomePod, and there hasn't been a new wearable since the 2015 debut of the Apple Watch. That's set to change in the not too distant future, as Apple's AR/VR headset is nearing completion and will likely see a launch in 2023. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Rumors about the first head worn ...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature purple

Kuo: Apple's Headset Coming End of 2022, Will Feature 'Pancake' Lenses

Tuesday January 4, 2022 9:29 pm PST by
Apple's widely-rumored AR/VR headset is coming at the end of 2022, with shipments to ramp up in the first quarter of 2023, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note with TF International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said Apple's headset will feature two "3P pancake lenses," which have a folded design that allows light to reflect back and forth between the display and...
ipad augmented reality

Apple Looking to Create an 'Entirely New Application Paradigm' for AR and VR

Wednesday December 8, 2021 1:33 am PST by
Apple is looking to create an "entirely new application paradigm" for augmented and virtual reality according to a new job listing, highlighting the company's growing ambitions in the AR and VR space as it ramps up the development of its next-generation products. The job posting initially shared by Hayden Lee, an AR/VR software engineering manager at Apple, describes Apple as looking for an ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's 'realityOS' for Rumored AR/VR Headset Referenced in Source Code

Wednesday February 9, 2022 2:12 am PST by
New references to "realityOS," the AR/VR operating system that will run Apple's rumored mixed reality headset, have been found in App Store upload logs and Apple open source code this morning. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Apple is working on at least two AR projects that include an augmented reality headset set to be released in late 2022 or 2023, followed ...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature orange

Kuo: Mass Production on Apple's AR/VR Headset May Be Delayed Until End of 2022

Monday October 18, 2021 9:05 pm PDT by
Apple may not begin production on its upcoming AR/VR headset until the end of the fourth quarter of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note sent out to investors. That would likely result in the device launching late in 2022 or in early 2023. Before launching the headset, Apple wants to have "complete software, ecosystem, and services," which Kuo cites as the reason why Apple ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple AR/VR Headset Potentially Delayed Until 2023 Amid Development Problems

Friday January 14, 2022 8:10 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored AR/VR headset could be delayed until 2023 after being beset with issues during the development process, according to Bloomberg. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, the report claims that Apple originally planned to launch the headset in 2021 and ship it this year. The company then set its sights on...
google logo

Google Begins AR Headset Development to Compete With Apple and Meta

Friday January 21, 2022 2:25 am PST by
Google has internally kickstarted the development of an augmented reality headset that will "blend computer graphics with a video feed of the real world" to deliver an immersive AR experience, with a launch tentatively set for 2024, according to a report from The Verge. The report describes the headset, codenamed Project Iris, as a "tightly kept secret" at Google with around 300 employees...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple Reportedly Completes Production Tests for AR/VR Headset

Monday February 21, 2022 7:49 am PST by
Apple has completed key production tests for its long-rumored augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset, according to DigiTimes. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo Citing information from the headset's component suppliers, the device has reportedly completed second-phase engineering validation tests (EVT 2) to ensure that prototype units meet...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...