Renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the expected Apple AR headset will have “significantly higher” computing power than iPhone.
In a research note for investors, Kuo wrote: “Our latest survey indicates that each Apple AR/MR headset will adopt two CPUs made of 4nm and 5nm… which is higher than our previous estimation and market consensus of one.”
The computing power of the device will mean that it will use the same 96W charger used for the 14-inch MacBook Pro. The charger is expected to be supplied by Jabil.
Kuo says the 96W charger requirement “proves that Apple AR/MR requires the same level of computing power as the MacBook Pro and is significantly higher than the iPhone.”
Apple is expected to debut its first-generation AR headset this year with Kuo expecting strong sales performance over the coming years.
“We forecast that the Apple AR/MR headset device shipments will reach 3 million, 8-10 million, and 15-20 million units in 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively,” reports Kuo.
Given the ongoing supply chain issues, we’d expect the announcement to take place towards the end of 2022 with limited availability or wouldn’t be surprised to see it slip into 2023.
Kuo believes that Apple can afford to wait as the headset “is about 2-3 years ahead of competitors’ products.”
“At present, the largest chip supplier of AR/VR headsets is Qualcomm, and its mainstream solution XR2 has a computing power of mobile phone level,” explains Kuo.
“We think Qualcomm will take at least [until] 2023-2024 to launch PC/Mac computing grade AR/VR chips.”
You don’t have to be an analyst of the calibre of Kuo to know Apple’s developer community and dedicated userbase gives it a significant advantage. However, in addition, Kuo says that sales of the headset will grow because of “vivid AR innovative user experiences.”
Previous scoops have suggested that developers will initially be targeted for the device with a cost of around $3,000. Further growth will be driven by “a more affordable second generation”.
Averse to the metaverse?
Separately, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported this week that the metaverse is “off-limits” for Apple’s headset and the focus will be on short stints of communication, content viewing, and gaming.
If Apple goes down the route of banning developers from building metaverse experiences, it could put itself at a disadvantage given the substantial interest in using them for work and play. The appetite for such experiences was amplified by the pandemic as people sought more immersive ways to remain connected.
“I’ve been told pretty directly that the idea of a completely virtual world where users can escape to — like they can in Meta Platforms/Facebook’s vision of the future — is off-limits from Apple,” Gurman wrote.
Facebook renamed itself Meta last year to show its laser-focused belief in metaverses being the future of the web and socialising. If Meta is correct, Apple could end up falling behind instead of setting out its own vision that many people are more likely to trust.
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