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Apple's first AR headset could have pretty awful battery life for $3,000

You might want to stay plugged in when using Apple's mixed-reality headset.
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Published onJanuary 30, 2023

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TL;DR
  • A veteran journalist has shared more details about Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset.
  • The device will apparently offer just two hours of battery life and a limited amount of content at launch.

We’ve heard about Apple‘s upcoming AR/VR headset for a while now, with leaks pointing to a $3,000+ price tag, dual 4K OLED screens, and even a waist-mounted battery pack. Now, a trusted source has shed more light on the device.

Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman has posted more apparent details about Apple’s mixed-reality headset, apparently called Reality Pro, in his Power On newsletter.

For starters, some top managers in charge of launching the product apparently believe the category could eventually surpass the iPhone as Apple’s top-flight product. Furthermore, Apple purportedly believes that a headset can eventually be worn all day and everywhere, replacing a laptop and phone.  However, it looks like there could be more than a few hurdles in the way of the first-gen product.

Short battery life and a dearth of content

Perhaps the most notable tidbit is that the device will only last for two hours on a charge. For what it’s worth, the Meta Quest Pro also lasts for roughly two hours. But this just means Apple wouldn’t be alone in offering extremely short endurance.

This isn’t the only downside to Apple’s mixed-reality headset though. Gurman asserts that the Reality Pro will also launch with a limited amount of content and have a design that could be uncomfortable.

Gurman also suggests Apple doesn’t have a must-buy use-case for the headset, saying the company is pushing immersive video consumption, integration with other Apple products, and “advanced VR-based Facetime calls” instead. Video content is a particularly interesting selling point in light of the device’s poor battery life, so we’d imagine that you’ll want to stay plugged in if watching anything longer than two hours.

Are you excited about the Apple Reality Pro headset?

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Otherwise, the journalist reiterates previously leaked specs like dual 4K OLED screens, over a dozen cameras to analyze the user’s body, eyes, and environment, and a flexible OLED panel on the front to show the wearer’s eyes.

Either way, with a $3,000+ price tag, it’s clear that the Apple Reality Pro will be a niche product at first. But the real question will be whether Apple is able to bring a sleeker design, innovative use-cases, and cheaper price tags to subsequent models.