Apple may launch 2nd affordable AR headset in 2025

Apple is likely to launch another augmented reality (AR) in 2025 that will be more affordable from the one the tech giant is set to launch next year to join the metaverse race, a famed Apple analyst said on Monday.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the iPhone maker will launch a higher performance and lower-cost AR headset variant in 2025.

“The second-generation Apple AR/MR may have high-end and more-affordable models, which will launch in 1H25, and component suppliers will start shipping in 2H24,” he said in a post on Medium.

“The high ASP ‘Pancake’ lens is the key optical component of Apple AR/MR, directly affecting the visual experience and form factor design,” he added.

According to Kuo, Apple AR/MR shipments may reach 10 million units as soon as 2025 or 2026, thanks to the second-generation Apple AR/MR product segmentation strategy and ecosystem.

The first-generation Apple AR/MR Pancake lens suppliers are Genius (main supplier) and Young Optics (second supplier).

The first-generation Apple AR/MR will adopt two 3P ‘Pancake’ modules (one for each eye), according to Kuo.

The total cost of the Pancake lenses is about $30-$40, roughly equivalent to 20 high-end 7P lenses.

“It provides a new growth driver for Apple’s optical supply chain in the medium and long term. The cost of the second-generation Pancake lenses will likely increase to improve the visual experience and form factor design,” he noted.

Apple is expected to AR headset in January next year, as the buzz around metaverse gains steam.

The tech giant is also reportedly planning to launch RealityOS for its headset.

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