“We predict that Apple’s AR headset to be launched in 4Q22 will be equipped with two processors,” a report by Mr Kuo seen by tech site Mac Rumours said.
The devices, which will contain two processors and support a “comprehensive range of applications”, will go on sale in the last three months of 2022, according to research from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
“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.”
Reports first started circulating it was planning to build an AR headset to ultimately replace the iPhone – Apple’s best-selling and most lucrative product – back in 2017, in the hopes of having the technology ready to market by 2019, but the device never materialised.
Apple has been rumoured to be working on a form of face-mounted wearable for years, despite both AR and VR (virtual reality) headsets being slow to capture the mainstream consumer imagination.
It has filed numerous patents around augmented reality and head-mounted displays as far back as 2008, including for a headset with a slot for a smartphone, in the vein of Samsung’s Gear VR and Google’s Daydream View headsets – both of which have been discontinued.
A similar report claimed that Apple was working on a pair of smart glasses to rival the defunct Google Glass in 2016, discussing the possibility of producing the device with manufacturers and ordering small quantities of near-eye displays.
Apple has championed AR vocally for some time. It unveiled ARKit, its framework for developers to create AR apps for the iPhone’s iOS system in 2017, while chief executive Tim Cook has previously said the company is “high on AR for the long run”.
“We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn,” he said during an earnings call with analysts the same year. “Put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever.”