Apple just hit an important milestone in developing its mixed-reality headset as rivals like Meta are making strides in developing similar devices. Executives showed off an AR/VR device to Apple's board last week, according to Bloomberg, a sign that the product is really happening and it's inching closer to a public launch.
Sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg that a version of Apple's AR/VR headset was demonstrated to the company's board members at their latest meeting last week. The board meets four times per year. Apple is also reportedly making progress on the operating system that will power the headset, called rOS (reality operating system) for now. Combined, the developments make clear that Apple is closer to releasing the first device in the first new product category since it launched the Apple Watch in 2015. According to Bloomberg, the company might show off the headset this year and is targeting a 2023 release date for the public.
The first iteration of the mixed-reality headset will offer both AR and VR capabilities, using advanced processors and ultra-high-resolution screens. The company has also been working on AR versions of apps that are currently on the market, and also plans for the headset to be used to stream content and hold virtual meetings. The company is also reportedly working on a separate pair of AR glasses, but those are years away.
The headset won't come cheap: Bloomberg has reported that it will cost about $2,000. The company last year believed it would sell one unit per day at Apple stores, for a total of 200,000 per year. That's underwhelming for a company like Apple, which doesn't tend to sell small quantities of products, but signals that the company believes the first device will be a game-changer.
Apple was originally going to debut the product at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but that plan was delayed due to issues including content and overheating, according to Bloomberg.