Apple Working on Cheaper Version of AR/VR Headset Priced Similarly to iPhone

Multiple rumors have indicated that Apple's first AR/VR headset coming later this year will be priced somewhere around $3,000, but a future version will be more affordable, according to reports from The Information and Bloomberg. Apple is already developing a more "budget-friendly" AR/VR headset that could be priced similarly to the iPhone.

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

The current iPhone 14 models are priced starting at $799 and go up to $1599 for the highest-end model with 1TB storage, but there is no word on where in that range the cheaper headset might fall. The headset will reportedly compete with Meta's mixed reality headset, which is priced at $1,500.

Apple engineers plan to use more affordable components to bring the price down, but the lower-priced headset will have the same general AR/VR "mixed reality" functionality of the headset launching in 2023. The chips in the device will be on par with the ‌iPhone‌, rather than the Mac-level chips used in the first AR/VR headset, and Apple may also use lower resolution internal displays and cheaper materials.

As of right now, development on the more affordable headset is in the early stages and Apple has not created a working prototype. The Information says that "significant" work on the device started last year, and at the time, the goal was to launch the cheap headset in 2024. Apple could introduce a budget mixed reality headset in either 2024 or 2025, according to Bloomberg.

For almost all product categories, Apple has both premium and more affordable versions of devices, so it is no surprise that the company has plans for a more consumer friendly mixed reality headset to join the high-end ~$3,000 version coming later in the year.

With the focus now on a more affordable AR/VR headset, Bloomberg says that Apple is delaying the augmented reality Apple Glasses that it had been working on. The rollout of the Apple Glasses has been postponed indefinitely, and work on the device has been pared back.

Apple's first AR/VR headset could be introduced as soon as this spring, but the device has seen multiple delays during its development. The $3,000 price point is due to the high-end components that Apple is using, including dual 4K displays from Sony, over a dozen cameras, an external battery pack, and more. Details on the AR/VR headset can be found in our roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Vision Pro
Buyer's Guide: Vision Pro (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Vision Pro

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Top Rated Comments

Paddle1 Avatar
20 months ago
Still pretty expensive for something most don't have much interest in. What can Apple do to differentiate from existing AR/VR devices to make it more desirable?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
20 months ago

I would not expect anybody to purchase a $3000 headset unless they were going to use it to create apps / experiences with. You would be insane to.
At this point, I don’t even care if it works or not. I just want to see what it’s going to look like. The AR/VR headset rumors/reports have been going on for far too long now.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
20 months ago
Still find it too gimmicky. ?

Call it AR/VR Headset SE model.

Why not find out if people are even interested in that $3,000 (without tax) Apple AR/VR headset first?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
twolf2919 Avatar
20 months ago
This is getting ridiculous: MacRumor rationalizing it’s spreading of a mere rumor of a cheaper AR/VR by telling us that this cheaper headset makes sense since Apple always brings out a cheaper version of a more expensive product - even if that more expensive product is also just a rumor.

I guess anything to get them clicks, eh?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JippaLippa Avatar
20 months ago
Which iPhone, the 2TB 15 Pro Max?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flotsum Avatar
20 months ago
Quest Pro requires a phone or computer to add apps.

Halve the price of the $3k headset by removing a chip and require an iphone for processing/rendering w latest wifi, half resolution, smaller battery and apple competes directly w Quest pro for $1500.

Somebody should hire me.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)