Apple’s first AR headset could arrive late next year with super-speedy chip

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Apple’s first AR headset could launch in 2022, AR glasses in 2023
It could pack as much power as an M1 Mac.
Concept: Taeyeon Kim

Apple’s much-anticipated augmented reality headset could finally drop late next year, according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

The device is expected to pack a surprisingly powerful chip that would put it on par with an M1 Mac in processing performance. A second low-power processor will reportedly handle the headset’s many built-in sensors.

Apple AR headset expected in late 2022

“We predict that Apple’s AR headset to be launched in 4Q22 will be equipped with two processors,” reads the latest research note from Kuo — who has proven incredibly reliable in the past — seen by Cult of Mac.

“The higher-end processor will have similar computing power as the M1 for Mac, whereas the lower-end processor will be in charge of sensor-related computing.” And there’s a good reason for all that processing power.

Kuo expects the headset to also offer virtual reality experiences through a pair of 4K micro OLED displays manufactured by Sony. Driving those two displays, despite diminutive size, won’t be easy thanks to their high resolutions.

“Apple’s AR headset requires a separate processor as the computing power of the sensor is significantly higher than that of the iPhone,” Kuo added. “The AR headset requires at least 6-8 optical modules to simultaneously provide continuous video see-through AR services to users.”

‘A comprehensive range of applications’

Kuo also predicted Apple’s first AR headset will offer a “comprehensive range of applications,” and will work independently from an iPhone or a Mac. He believes Apple is actually working to replace iPhone with a headset within 10 years.

Apple has reportedly been working on its own AR/VR hardware for years, and in the meantime, it has continued to make big improvements to augmented reality experiences on iPhone and iPad with its ARKit framework.