Apple's first AR headset: M1-class chipset, for gaming and media use

Apple's first-gen AR headset in 2022 will reportedly have M1-class processing power, will be tied to the iPhone like Apple Watch.

Published Wed, Dec 8 2021 5:42 PM CST   |   Updated Sun, Jan 2 2022 8:40 PM CST

Apple is expected to launch a totally new product range in 2022 with an exciting new AR headset on the way, with some new rumors from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Apple's first AR headset: M1-class chipset, for gaming and media use 02 |

In a new note to investors, Kuo says that the chip powering Apple's new AR headset will be "significantly higher" than the iPhone. Apple uses its in-house A-series chips in its iPhones, while the higher-end iPad Pro and new MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops use the higher-end M1-series chips, with the new M1X SoC in fisticuffs with Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 console.

Kuo explained: "[The] computing power of the sensor is significantly higher than that of the iPhone. [The main processor will have] the same level of computing power as Macs. The power management unit (PMU) design of the high-end processor is similar to that of M1 because it has the same level of computing power".

Kuo added that the Apple AR headset will reportedly feature two 4K micro-OLED displays, and will be made by Sony "which require significantly more computing power than the iPhone, thus needing a Mac-level processor". Kuo adds that the AR headset will support a "comprehensive range of applications rather than specific applications".

"Apple's goal is to replace the iPhone with AR in ten years, representing the demand... [for headsets will] exceed at least one billion... in ten years".

"If the AR headset is positioned only as an accessory for the Mac or iPhone, it will not be conducive to the growth of the product. An AR headset that works independently means that it will have its own ecosystem and provide the most complete and flexible user experience".

I'm very, very excited to see what Apple will do with its first AR headset. Apple changed the entire world with the original iPhone, single-handedly created the tablet market with the iPad, has a fantastic range of laptops and desktop PCs as well as wearables.

Apple's flagship AirPods Max headset is an astonishing piece of technology, I personally purchased the new AirPods Max a few months ago alongside the new Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch with the beautiful mini-LED display, and man... my ears have never felt such joy from headphones.

When watching content with spatial audio support -- especially Apple TV+ content -- there's nothing else that I've heard that comes close. The Apple TV+ exclusive "For All Mankind" is a totally next-generation experience for a few reasons: first, the show is fantastic, second, the visuals ooze through the mini-OLED display on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and lastly -- and most importantly -- on the AirPods Max I've heard absolutely nothing that compares.

Maybe if you had an expensive 10+ speaker, multi-subwoofer Dolby Atmos system... but still, that's not on your head and using positional audio right on your ears. Seriously, Apple has some truly groundbreaking tech that it has been slowly building up over the years... all leading up to this moment.

I still remember importing the original iPhone into Australia (the first iPhone that Apple released in Australia was the iPhone 3G) and it blew my mind. I also purchased the original iPad on day one, and could instantly see the potential of what Apple had in mind for the future from that first slate.

The first AR headset? Bring it, Apple.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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