According to a JP Morgan analysis, which was spotted by China Times, Apple may release a high-end VR headset in the first quarter of 2022.
JPMorgan Chase Securities technology analyst Yang Weilun believes that the headset will sport a traditional design, featuring six lenses plus the combination of an optical radar (LiDAR) and a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor to accurately determine the wearer’s position in a real-world environment and the distances between physical objects.
The individual components for the headset are said to be supplied mostly by Taiwanese manufacturers. The processor, which will likely share the same design as Apple’s M1 chip, will be manufactured by TSMC, the camera lenses will come from Largan Precision and Jin Guoguang, and VR lenses will be provided by Yujingguang and Yangmingguang. The final assembly is supposed to be handled by either Pegatron or Quanta Computer.
The report calculated the bill of materials (BOM) cost of the headset as at least $500. As such, the headset could easily retail for more than $1,000 and aim at the very top of the VR market.
JPMorgan Chase pointed out that the headset’s challenging industrial design specifications and difficult supply chain management make it unlikely to come out during the next 12 to 18 months. This timeframe would confirm Bloomberg’s earlier report, according to which the headset, codenamed N301, would precede Apple’s AR glasses, codenamed N421.
Considering the steep price tag (both the Oculus Quest 2 and the Oculus Rift S start at $299.00), it’s possible that Apple is developing its first VR headset for professional content creators, who currently lack a solution within the Apple ecosystem. If this is true, then it’s only a matter of time before Apple releases a more affordable headset aimed at regular consumers.