The headset, currently codenamed N301 but possibly titled Reality One or Reality Pro, is apparently slated to enter production by March 2023, based on its current manufacturing validation status. This will supposedly be undertaken by manufacturer Pegatron exclusively, rather than a mix of device builders like Apple uses for other devices like the iPhone.
Although we've yet to have any official confirmation of the headset, Apple's apparently been busy working on validation tests for this headset. DigiTimes also says Apple is at least considering using cleanroom production for this inaugural AR/VR project, which suggests Apple's pouring a lot of time and money into making sure the headset is built to the highest possible standards. That's always important, but especially so when launching a brand new category of product for a 2 trillion dollar company.
Super-careful manufacturing also makes sense when you factor in other rumors about the headset's price and availability. Stock is apparently going to be very limited, with fewer than one million units produced in its first year according to the new DigiTimes report. As for the cost, we can expect to spend as much as $2,000 or higher.
Fortunately, for those of us without bottomless stacks of cash, the Apple AR/VR headset will reportedly only be the first step of the company's mixed reality plans, with a less expensive headset and second-gen version believed to be on the way in 2025. This first headset is instead thought to be primarily marketed at developers and other professionals, who can help ensure there are plenty of experiences for regular users once they get a hold of more reasonably-priced Apple AR/VR gear.
According to other sources, even with production apparently starting in March of next year, it may still be summer before we actually get to see the headset in action. It's shaping up to be quite the device though, allegedly packing dual 4K displays and multiple processors on the inside, and multiple exterior cameras and sensors to allow interaction with the world around you.
Whenever Apple's headseet does turn up, we can't wait to try it for ourselves.