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Apple’s AR/VR headset is one of the most anticipated tech products of the year, and while the company has yet to announce it officially, there have been numerous rumors about its development. Now, a new report from Nikkei Asia suggests that Foxconn, Apple’s manufacturing partner, is already working on a cheaper second-generation version of the headset.
According to an unnamed executive with knowledge of the development, Apple’s first headset will be “extremely expensive”, with industry estimates ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. However, the source believes that the second-generation headset will have a more affordable price tag, similar to that of a high-end Mac computer.
Foxconn is also helping with the AR project, and four people told Nikkei Asia that the longtime iPhone assembler is working on the parallel development of a cheaper second-generation AR device. Foxconn’s focus will be on automating mass production and improving production performance to help Apple lower overall costs.
These reports align with previous rumors that Apple is planning to release a cheaper version of its AR/VR headset. According to The Information’s Wayne Ma and Mark Gurman, the headset will use more affordable components, such as lower-resolution lenses.
Apple’s first headset is expected to be announced at WWDC in June and will reportedly have over a dozen cameras, dual 4K lenses, advanced eye and hand tracking, a physical knob similar to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown, and many other advanced features. On the software side, the device is said to have an iOS-like interface with a grid of apps.
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While Apple’s AR/VR headset is still shrouded in mystery, the fact that Foxconn is already working on a cheaper second-generation version suggests that the company is serious about making the technology accessible to a wider audience. As always with Apple products, we can expect an impressive range of features and a sleek design, but the big question remains: will the price point be too high for most consumers?