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Apple AR headset enters design stage, report says, as Tim Cook drops a big hint

Apple AR headset enters design stage, report says, as Tim Cook drops a big hint
(Image credit: Future)

Two big developments for Apple's augmented reality headset. First, it has now entered the design-development stage, according to one report. And second, Apple CEO Tim Cook has dropped a rather large hint that it's on the way.

A note from Haitong Intl Tech Research analyst Jeff Pu – as seen by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) – says the long-rumoured headset will be ready in prototype form by the end of this year. But it's not expected to go on sale until the second half of 2024.

Pu also said that the headset – dubbed AR Glass – will feature waveguide technology, with Corning (maker of the popular Gorilla Glass used in smartphones) supplying the glass.

The headset has been said in the past to feature micro OLED displays.

Meanwhile, Tim Cook is becoming less cagey about talking about the headset. In an interview with China Daily (via The Verge (opens in new tab)), the Apple CEO urged AR fans to "stay tuned and you will see what we have to offer." Considering Apple rarely talks about upcoming products, especially those in new product categories, this is very significant.

Cook went on to say that he "couldn't be more excited" about AR, despite it being "in the very early innings" of its development.

You can watch it below.

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Cook has talked up AR numerous times in the past. While this latest incidence doesn't confirm that Apple is working on a separate AR device – he could just really love its ARKit platform, right? – it is the biggest hint yet that hardware is coming.

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Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.