Apple’s AR/VR headset isn’t just a prototype anymore, sources say | GeekComparison

An augmented reality demo from Apple, using a smartphone instead of a headset.
enlarge An augmented reality demo from Apple, using a smartphone instead of a headset.

Apple’s mixed reality headset has moved past prototype stages and is on its way to production, according to a new report in DigiTimes that names component suppliers. DigiTimes claims that Apple has already conducted “second stage technical validation and testing (EVT 2)” for the headset.

“EVT 2” is a stage on Apple’s path to production. The company starts with prototypes before moving on to the first EVT (engineering validation testing) phase. “EVT 2” indicates that this is the second phase of testing for the device during that phase.

After technical validation, Apple moves on to design validation and then production validation before finally starting production.

The report claims that the headset will go into mass production in August or September and that Apple is still aiming for a 2022 launch for the product. There have been conflicting reports of late regarding the timing of the launch of Apple’s first mixed reality headset. Apple is said to have first planned a launch in 2019, but have postponed that launch several times.

Several reliable sources said last year that the headset would arrive in 2022, but Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman recently warned that the device could be delayed until 2023. Meanwhile, analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo continued to forecast a 2022 launch.

In recent years, Gurman has a very strong track record of forecasting Apple’s announcements and products. But he doesn’t always accurately predict the timing of those announcements and products. The same is sometimes true of Ming-Chi Kuo’s analysis.

Sources in the component supply chain, such as those cited by DigiTimes, often have some insight into what Apple is working on, but they usually don’t have the full picture either. This report is therefore not a firm confirmation that the device will be ready for use this fall. Still, it’s a good sign.

This first headset is said to feature very high-end specs such as 4K displays, multiple precision sensors, or a silicon equivalent of the M1 Pro or M1 Max chips found in recent MacBook Pro models. The headset is likely to be used for professional applications and will help app developers get started with the kind of immersive experiences that can draw users to a more mainstream product later on.

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