Apple Planning to Release Advanced VR Headset as Soon as 2022: Report

The tech giant intends for the new high-end, niche device to be a precursor to more advanced augmented reality glasses.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report is delving deeper into virtual reality with the company working on its first attempt at a virtual headset, according to a report Thursday, with the tech giant planning to launch the product as soon as 2022.

The headset is designed to be a "pricey, niche precursor," to a more advanced augmented reality product that will take longer to develop, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. 

The mostly virtual reality device, codenamed N301, will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment to be used for gaming, watching video and communicating. Alternate reality functionality, or the ability to overlay digital images over the real world, will be more limited with this device. 

Apple isn't looking to create an iPhone-type industry game changer with its VR headset, Bloomberg reported, but instead is seeking to create a high-end, niche product that will help prepare outside developers for future advances ushered in by Apple's planned mainstream AR glasses. 

The Cupertino, California-based company is looking to include some of its most advanced and powerful chips in the headset, along with displays that have a much higher resolution than those seen in existing VR products, sources told Bloomberg. 

The headset is in the late prototype stage, but it hasn't been finalized yet so the company's plans could change and Apple could still scrap the project before it launches. 

Sources told Bloomberg the headset will be "far more expensive" that those of rivals, which currently cost between $300 and $900. 

The virtual reality segment is currently led by Facebook's  (FB) - Get Report Oculus segment, Sony's  (SNE) - Get Report Playstation VR and headsets from HTC Corp.

Apple shares were up 2.96% to $135.94 Thursday afternoon. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty suggested in a note on Thursday morning that Apple's holiday quarter may turn out to be better than expected and raised her price target on the stock from $144 to $152. 

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