Rumor: Apple’s headset to use a proprietary charging connector, attached magnetically

The charging cable, inseparable from the supposed external battery, should connect to the headset magnetically and rotate to lock into place.

Rendering imagining an Apple headset resembling ski goggles
Apple’s headset might use an external battery | Image: Ahmed Chenni/
  • Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset could use a special round-tipped charging connector with a fastening mechanism to prevent it from falling out during use.
  • The charging cable is permanently attached to an external battery pack.
  • Aside from the new proprietary charging connector, the mixed-reality accessory will also have a USB-C connector to handle data.

Rumor: Apple’s headset to use proprietary charging

Gurman reported earlier about Apple’s surprising design solution: An external battery pack that connects via a cable to the company’s mixed-reality headset. It resembles Apple’s MagSafe battery pack for the iPhone, and the charging connector can be locked so it doesn’t fall out during use.

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

The charging cable that goes into the headset has a round tip that inserts magnetically. In order to prevent the connector from falling out during use, you rotate it clockwise to lock it in. The cable itself connects to the battery pack, and those two pieces aren’t separable.

The connector inserts magnetically, so accidentally tripping over the cord while using the headset should safely unplug the cable like with the MacBook Air’s MagSafe connector. An external battery pack instead of an integrated battery will help reduce weight and improve the comfort of the head-worn device.

The external battery will reduce the headset size

Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is seen stuck to the back of an iPhone, which is resting in the palm of a young person's hand, in this still image taken from iDB's video review of the accessory
Apple’s MagSafe battery pack for iPhone | Image: Harris Craycraft Zibreg/iDB

From the report:

The pack, about the size of an iPhone but thicker, is designed to be charged via USB-C and will be powered up using the same adapter included with the MacBook Pro. Given the short battery life, I’d imagine Apple will offer the ability to buy extra packs.

Additional battery packs may be required as the battery bundled with the headset won’t power the headset for longer than two hours. That’s because Apple’s product is expected to trump all AR/VR products before it with sophisticated hardware.

Cutting-edge technology

The headset is rumored to feature two micro-OLED 4K screens providing an 8K display area, an additional 1080p screen facing the outside world, more than a dozen internal and external cameras for precise eye and hand tracking, etc.

Dubbed “Reality” or “Reality Pro,” the headset will run Apple’s new operating system called xrOS. It’s apparently powered by an in-house designed chipset built on TSMC’s 3nm process, comparable to the M2 and providing Mac-level graphics.

If the rumors are correct, the inaugural version of the device might be a pricey proposition, starting at the rumored $3000-$3500. It will primarily target software developers who may want to get it to optimize their apps for the AR/VR accessory.

Future iterations of the headset will likely use cheaper components to help reduce the price. Aside from running apps optimized explicitly for AR and VR, the headset is said to let users run existing iPad apps from the App Store using a new 3D interface.

Apple is expected to announce the headset at WWDC, which runs from June 5-9.