Ahead of launch in 2023, it looks like Apple’s headset is getting a power boost thanks to Apple’s impressive M2 chip. If true, it might be more powerful than our favorite MacBook, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020).
This is according to the latest report by Mark Gurman Power On Bulletin (opens in new tab) where he said “I was told the last incarnations of the [Apple headset] run the base M2 chip along with 16 gigabytes of RAM.” Previous rumors indicated that Apple’s headset would be powered by two different chips – an M1-like processor for more intensive applications and a weaker chip for low-power uses.
Rumors should always be taken with a pinch of salt, but this one from Gurman certainly makes a lot of sense.
When Apple’s headset was supposed to launch this year, an M1 chip would have been an appropriate choice. The more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max processors are designed for professional workstations like the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) rather than consumer-focused devices like the headset, and the M2 would be too new to incorporate it. appropriately to the headphone design.
However, as 2023 is set to be the headset’s expiration date, Apple now has plenty of time to configure its design around its more powerful M2 hardware. If that happens, it will also avoid the embarrassment of releasing a premium device with outdated hardware.
The M2 and M1 have an 8-core CPU, with four performance cores and four efficiency cores. However, the M2 has two more GPU cores for a total of 10, as well as a neural engine capable of 5.8 trillion operations per second, over 40% more operations than the M1, according to Apple.
Translating what the numbers mean into practical terms, thanks to its upgraded GPU, the headset should be able to put its dual 8K micro OLED displays to good use. Apple’s headset with an M2 would be able to create more visually stunning and (importantly) more realistic AR and VR experiences.
This improved hardware is likely to come at a high cost. With specs comparable to some of Apple’s best iPads and MacBooks, we’d expect the headset to give us at least $1,000 / £1,000 / $1,500 back, if not more, but we’ll have to wait and see what the Californian tech giant decides.
Apple has yet to publicly confirm the existence of its headset, although Apple CEO Tim Cook has teased that the company is working on some sort of AR hardware.
With a 2023 launch looking increasingly likely, we expect to hear something more concrete about Apple’s AR/VR efforts later this year – or more likely at its Spring 2023 conference, which is likely to take place in March.