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Apple may already be working on a cheaper 2nd-gen AR headset

Published Feb 23rd, 2023 9:10AM EST
Apple mixed reality glasses render - side view.
Image: Ian Zelbo

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Apple’s first Mixed Reality headset isn’t even announced yet, but Nikkei Asia says the Cupertino firm has already started the development of its second generation. Currently, Luxshare is responsible for the company’s effort to introduce the Reality Pro gadget.

While Foxconn usually manufactured first-gen products, Apple decided to give Luxshare a chance as it wanted to move production away from China. Luxshare, it’s important to note, already produces AirPods, Apple Watches, and iPhones.

According to the report, Foxconn is helping with the AR project as it’s working “on parallel development of a cheaper second-generation AR device,” said four sources. The manufacturer’s goal is to help Apple improve production performance and help Apple lower overall costs.

While rumors regarding the price of Apple’s Reality Pro are around $3,000, Nikkei reports that “the cost of the display technologies and chips could push the retail price of Apple’s AR gadget to $3,000-$5,000, based on analysts’ and industry executives’ estimates.”

“Apple’s first generation of AR devices will be extremely expensive, and really only can attract those passionate tech geeks or premium customers,” an executive with knowledge of the development told Nikkei Asia. “But Apple hopes to push the price down in the second generation of devices, which is in parallel development, to a more affordable price, like a high-end Mac computer, and hopes to attract a bigger user base.”

Unlike other reports, this one isn’t about the specifications we’ll find in the second-generation AR headset but whether Luxshare can threaten Foxconn’s dominance. First of all, an analyst says we’ll have to see how well the first-gen Apple AR headset will perform.

Second-gen AR headset is also a mixed-reality headset

Although the publication talks about an AR headset, it’s actually referring to the successor – or an entry-level model – for Apple’s upcoming Reality Pro, a mixed reality device. Over the past few years, there was a bit of confusion regarding those two products, as Apple is developing both MR and AR headsets – the latter is expected to be introduced in a few years.

Currently, Apple is focusing on the Mixed Reality headset, which will mix AR and VR experiences. The company’s ultimate goal is, in fact, to introduce an AR headset, but no signs of when Apple will unveil it.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.