Apple’s mixed-reality headset with LiDAR predicted to cost $500, launching in 2022

A new report has it that Apple’s first virtual reality (VR) headset may be arriving next year, featuring the design close to that of other brands and carrying a price tag of $500.

iMore has spotted a new report by JP Morgan in China Times saying that the rumored product could arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2022. It will feature a LiDAR sensor for accurate depth mapping along with a time-of-flight sensor and six lenses.

The design should be “close to that of other brands”. Moreover, the AR/VR headset is said to enhance a user’s experience “when playing AR and VR.”

The head-worn accessory should be pricier than comparable VR headsets.

The supply chain is ready for new Apply shiny

Suppliers will reportedly begin delivering the necessary components in the fourth quarter of 2021 for final assembly ahead of the product’s apparent launch in the first quarter of 2022. A total of six suppliers—including lens maker Largan and chip foundry TSMC—have entered the supply chain for the product, according to the report.

According to a snapshot of an upcoming DigiTimes report, citing industry sources, Taiwanese manufacturers Pegatron and Quanta Computer are vying for final assembly orders while Foxconn has scored orders for component assembly.

Apple’s AR/VR/MR strategy

The story follows recent reporting from credible publications strongly suggesting Apple’s been working on multiple AR and VR products. The Information, for instance, recently said that Apple’s inaugural AR headset would arrive sometime in 2022, with its first AR glasses penciled for 2023. According to the publication, the Cupertino company has made an internal announcement to a thousand key executives in the Steve Jobs Theater recently.

Bloomberg has corroborated that story, saying Apple’s planned to release a mixed-reality (MR) headset combining AR and VR in 2021 or 2022, with a pair of lightweight AR glasses to follow in 2023. Reporter Mark Gurman called the rumored Apple MR headset “pricey, niche precursor” to a more ambitious AR glasses project that’s taking longer to develop than anticipated.

“The initial device has confronted several development hurdles and the company has conservative sales expectations, illustrating how challenging it will be to bring this nascent consumer technology to the masses,” reads the Bloomberg report published in January 2021.