New Apple mixed reality headset rumors: new partner and cheaper model

Reportedly, Apple mixed reality headset will be unveiled at the WWDC 2023 event with a  predominantly tech audience of developers, a perfect match. 

The latest Apple mixed reality headset rumors claim that the tech giant has tapped a new Chinese partner to manufacture the device and its long-term partner, Foxconn is already working on a cheaper model.

Apple mixed reality headset

Second-generation Apple mixed reality headset to cost as much as a high-end Mac computer

Historically, Apple has used Taiwanese manufacturers to build its first-generation products like Foxconn. Now, Nikkie Asia reports that, for the first time, the tech company has tapped Chinese company Luxshare to develop its AR/VR headset.

Luxshare was presumably chosen because it acquired an AR development team in Shanghai which was previously owned by Pegatron.

Pegatron, a longtime iPhone assembler, was the first supplier to help Apple develop AR devices, but collaboration on that front was on and off for four years. The Taiwanese company has been making Microsoft’s Hololens mixed-reality headset for years but became skeptical about Apple’s AR plans and gradually exited the project to focus on other applications such as automotive and servers, a supply chain executive with knowledge of the matter told Nikkei Asia.

Luxshare’s participation is a milestone for Chinese tech suppliers. 

Luxshare, on the other hand, hopes to grab as much business in as many areas as possible from Apple, four people told Nikkei Asia. It has grown over the years to become the U.S. company’s most important China-based supplier and already helps build iPhones, the Apple Watch and AirPods.

Apple mixed reality headset

With combined augmented reality and virtual reality technology, Apple’s mixed reality headset is designed for gaming, video conferencing, and video streaming. The upcoming AR/VR headset would feature multiple 4K micro-OLED interior displays, an exterior display to show users’ facial expressions, cameras, sensors, LiDAR scanners, and an external battery.

The mixed reality headset would support an ultra-low refresh rate and eye-tracking capability to turn on full resolution only when the user is looking directly to save power, and Apple Watch-like Digital Crown to easily and quickly switch views between the virtual world and the physical world.

Apple’s mixed reality headset price is expected to be $3000 to $5000 which makes it a product for a tech-enthusiastic niche like developers or premium customers, not mass consumers which might be a hurdle in the device’s success. Therefore, the company is reportedly working on a cheaper model.

Confirming that Apple is working on a cheaper second-generation AR/VR headset, Nikkie Asia also details that it will be manufactured by Foxconn which will help Apple to lower the headset’s cost as a high-end Mac. 

Foxconn is also helping with the AR project, four people told Nikkei Asia. The longtime iPhone assembler will work on parallel development of a cheaper second-generation AR device, four sources said. Foxconn’s focus will be on automating mass production and improving production performance to help Apple lower overall costs, according to two people familiar with the plans.

“But Apple hopes to push the price down in the second generation of devices, which is in parallel development, to a more affordable price, like a high-end Mac computer, and hopes to attract a bigger user base.”

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Addicted to social media and in love with iPhone, started blogging as a hobby. And now it's my passion for every day is a new learning experience. Hopefully, manufacturers will continue to use innovative solutions and we will keep on letting you know about them.

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