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Apple mixed reality headset could be incredibly light — and there’s more big news

a concept render of the Apple Mixed Reality Headset
(Image credit: Antonio DeRosa)

The first-generation Apple VR and mixed reality headset could weigh less than the Oculus Quest 2 when it reportedly arrives within the next 12 months. And another Apple virtual/augmented reality headset could arrive shortly after. 

That's according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, via 9to5Mac, who predicts the upcoming Apple augmented reality headset currently weighs between 300-400 grams. That's significantly less than the Quest 2, now called Meta Quest 2, which weighs 532 grams and is currently our best VR headset. Kuo also claims that the headset will debut sometime in 2022, something he's emphasized before. 

Despite this seemingly svelte design, the mixed reality headset has been tipped to make use a "higher-end processors" that'll have similar computing power to the Apple M1 chip, at least going by an earlier Kuo report. And dual 4K micro LED displays, Wi-Fi 6E support, 15 optical modules, eye tracking and more are expected to be packed into this reportedly lightweight design.

Kuo's report comes on the heels of one from regular and reliable Apple tipster Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who stated that Apple's headset would focus on gaming, media consumption and communication.

Second-gen Apple mixed reality headset tipped for 2024

Kuo is forecasting the first-generation Apple headset to sell well at between 2.5-3.5 million units across 2023, presumably when the headset is fully released post an earlier reveal. As such, Kuo claims that Apple is already hard at work at an updated design of its mixed reality headset, likely building upon this foretasted uptake of Cupertino's first model. 

The second-generation headset would supposedly be significantly lighter, feature an updated industrial design, new battery management system and a faster processor than its predecessor. This Apple headset would debut in the second half of 2024, according to Kuo, and could sell some 10 million units. 

This would be a massive achievement considering Meta, which currently rules the VR market with its Quest 2, just went past the 10 million units shipped mark this past November.

It's even more surprising considering that the first iteration of Apple's VR headset is rumored to cost $1,000. The Meta Quest 2 costs $300 by comparison, with refurbished units selling for $200. 

There are some bold claims being made here, especially when the world of virtual and mixed reality remains a niche, albeit a significant one. But then again Apple is tipped to have a busy next 12 months — just check out our Apple in 2022 roundup — so perhaps the company could be the one to take VR truly mainstream. Of course, we'll have to see how Google responds, as it too is reportedly working on its own AR headset and OS.

Imad Khan is news editor at Tom’s Guide, helping direct the day’s breaking coverage. Prior to working at the site, Imad was a full-time freelancer, with bylines at the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.