Apple’s first headset could be 3 years ahead of rivals in computing power

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Apple mixed reality headset
It will need a beefy charger.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s first mixed-reality headset will ship with the same 96W power adapter that you get with some 14-inch MacBook Pro models, according to an analyst, who says that’s proof the device will pack plenty of computing power.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also expects Apple’s “metaverse headset” to be around two to three years ahead of competing products. And he says it could sell as many as 3 million units during its first full year of availability, rising to 20 million units in 2025.

Apple’s first mixed-reality headset will be a powerhouse

Apple doesn’t want to give users a mixed reality headset that requires a second device — like a Mac or iPhone — to operate. So, the device reportedly will pack its own powerful chips to deliver groundbreaking AR and VR experiences.

According Kuo, who has proven reliable in the past, Apple’s first headset will use the same charger as a MacBook Pro to ensure those chips get all the power they need.

“Our survey indicates that Apple AR/MR headset will use a 96W charger … with the same specifications as the MacBook Pro to provide faster and more efficient charging for the Apple AR/MR headset,” reads a report seen by Cult of Mac. “This charger specification proves that Apple AR/MR requires the same level of computing power as the MacBook Pro and is significantly higher than the iPhone.”

As much power as an M1

Kuo predicted last November that Apple’s mixed-reality device will offer the same kind of power as an M1 chip. A secondary processor will handle some of the more lightweight tasks, such as communication with sensors.

The standalone design will allow Apple’s headset to better compete with rivals like Meta’s Quest 2, which also packs onboard processors. However, Kuo says Cupertino’s offering will be two to three years ahead in power.

This could help it attract some impressive sales figures. “We forecast that the Apple AR/MR headset device shipments will reach 3 million, 8–10 million, and 15–20 million units in 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively,” Kuo said.