Apple gearing up to release 'expensive' VR headset as early as 2022

The report claims that this "niche" product will be "far more expensive than those from rivals" and that Apple may only sell one per day per retail store.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple is gearing up for the first new product since the Apple Watch. According to a report by Bloomberg, this will be the long-anticipated VR headset with limited AR capability.

And it could land as soon as 2022, and would be the precursor to a dedicated AR product.

Must read: The best VR and AR headsets in 2021

Details are, as you'd expect at this stage, vague. The price is described as "far more expensive than those from rivals," with the headset being "high-end," and "niche," so niche that some Apple insiders are reported as believing that Apple "may sell only one headset per day per retail store," which works out at about 500 per day, or 180,000 a year.

As you'd expect, there are hurdles that Apple needs to overcome, some technical, but others regulatory, specifically around selling a product that includes prescription lenses.

The real question isn't whether Apple could develop a VR headset (just look at the ingenuity of the AirPods Max), and there's little doubt that people will buy it (again, we only need look at the AirPods Max), but will there be the content to support it? 

If the ecosystem is only going to be 180,000 users after a year, that's really not going to get developers and content makers fired up to make content, so it might leave Apple in a position where it will have to bankroll this content itself for the first few years while the ecosystem grows, much like Apple did during those early days of the iPhone. 

As for price, given that VR headsets are in that $500-$800 space, and AR headsets are $3,000-$3,500, it's anyone's guess what an Apple offering could go for. 

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