Apple headset passes a second phase of engineering validation and testing, with mass production kicking off this fall

Mass production of the rumored Apple headset should kick off in September or October, with the first units reportedly going on sale before the end of 2022.

  • The mass manufacture of Apple’s rumored headset with AR/VR functions should kick off this fall as the company has just completed crucial production tests.
  • Having recently moved beyond the prototype stage, an Apple headset has reportedly entered the next major phase of engineering validation
  • Ostensibly, the Cupertino company is still planning on launching the rumored AR/VR accessory this year, most likely near the end of the year.

Apple headset could enter mass production this fall

Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is reporting that an Apple headset is now past a second phase of engineering validation testing (EVT 2), which ensures a batch of prototypes meets the company’s design specifications.

Apple has reportedly conducted its second-phase engineering validation and testing for its first AR headset, which is expected to debut by the end of 2022, according to sources at component suppliers.

The next phase is design validation testing, after which Apple can submit these units for regulatory approval. The gadget, DigiTimes has it, should enter mass production in August or September, after passing the production validation testing phase. Read: How to create a blank iPhone home screen with no apps

Apple’s first AR headset, mainly targeting professional vertical market applications, is expected to undergo EVT3 soon and enter volume production in August-September before hitting the market by the end of the year, the sources said.

If the gadget is indeed launching later in 2022, expect some sort of a preview at this year’s WWDC. This won’t be the only AR/VR hardware from Apple. Aside from a mixed reality headset combining both AR and VR functions, Apple is also said to be working on inexpensive smart glasses for augmented reality applications.

Will there be a cheaper Apple headset?

The first Apple headset could be a pricey product, costing anywhere between $2,500 and $3,000. That first iteration of the device is said to be heavily geared towards programmers to use as a development and test device. But according to DigiTimes, the first development version of the product will be followed by a more affordable version for consumers in 2023 which should be lighter, have longer battery life and cost less than the inaugural $3,000 edition.

When will Apple launch its AR/VR headset?

Only Apple knows the answer to this question.

DigiTimes claims the iPhone maker is apparently planning on releasing its headset around the end of 2022. Problem is, the headset has been in development for years now and has pivoted from a focus on a device requiring an iPhone for processing to being a truly standalone device. Such apparent change in strategy has required additional work, which has delayed the headset. The consensus among analysts and industry watchers is that an Apple headset will be arriving in 2022 or 2023.

Morgan Stanley said a few months ago that Apple’s rumored AR/VR accessory was “approaching liftoff.” But not everyone is convinced that an Apple headset is launching this year. Bloomberg’s reliable Mark Gurman believes a launch in 2023 is more probably due to development issues. It’s unclear whether today’s report means that Apple has cleared the development hurdles Gurman spoke about.

A still from an Apple event video featuring Tim Cook opening

Today’s supply-chain report gives us reasons to hope that the device would launch to developers in limited quantity this year after all. With Meta updating its existing AR/VR devices and releasing new ones in 2022, and other players joining the fray, Apple would be wise to release its headset sooner than later. Read: How to get your house, car, or face blurred out in Apple and Google Maps

That may be much easier said than done because an Apple headset is a very, very ambitious project that’s believed to feature two 4K micro-OLED displays, advanced eye tracking, gesture control, 15 internal cameras, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and more. It’s said to be significantly lighter than the current headsets, weighing only 150-300 grams. It should be fully self-contained, powered by Apple’s custom chip and a new operating system dubbed “rOS,” which stands for “Reality operating system”.