Apple's headset is reportedly the "most complicated" device the company has ever made.
The Information's Wayne Ma reports the headset's "unconventional curved shape, thinness and ultralight weight" have resulted in a price tag around $3000 and led the originally planned manufacturer to hand over the project last year after more than four years of preparations. The difficulty of manufacturing the headset "would have made mass production unprofitable" for the original planned manufacturer, according to "two people familiar with the situation" who spoke to The Information.
The headset reportedly has a curved glass front with a carbon fiber frame and a "bent motherboard" – the first of its kind for Apple. This design has proved challenging for production workers "because they have little room to maneuver tools and have to install components at awkward angles."
These challenges will "test the company’s prowess in design and manufacturing like nothing before," Ma speculates.
The new manufacturer hasn't yet begun full scale mass production, Ma reports, but plans to fully staff the factory by July, suggesting the device won't start shipping until at least later this year.
Ma reports Apple will produce less than half a million headsets in the first year, partly because of the difficulty of assembly and partly because the headset's 4K OLED microdisplays are also so difficult and expensive to manufacture.
One of Ma's sources claim some Apple engineers are "concerned about users in VR mode bumping into walls or furniture, shattering the headset’s front into glass fragments, which could cut their faces."
Apple's headset, reportedly branded Reality Pro, is expected to be finally revealed during the WWDC23 keynote on Monday, which UploadVR's Ian Hamilton is attending in person. For a summary of all the rumors we've heard so far, read our roundup here: