Tech investors are picking Apple (AAPL -0.78%) shares Wednesday morning, and as of 11:40 a.m. ET the stock is up a solid 2%.
For that, you can thank Apple fanboy site MacRumors -- and its latest report that Apple is making more progress in augmented reality than had previously even been guessed at.
If you recall, it was only late last month that investor TFI Asset Management broke the story that Apple is working on a new augmented reality headset featuring "the same computing power level as the M1 for Mac" -- such that the AR headset could probably operate as a stand-alone device and not need to be linked to an iPhone to function.
Investors flocked to the news, and Apple stock is up more than 11% in the two weeks since these rumors surfaced. Late last night, though, MacRumors reported that Apple not only has one AR device in the pipeline, but is actually working on a second. This "second-generation AR headset," says the site, "will feature a lighter design, adopt a new battery system, and a faster processor."
As in lighter and faster and better than the AR device that Apple hasn't even released yet?
I have to admit: That's pretty fast work, Apple.
Now admittedly, so far this is only a rumor. Also, the source of this rumor is the same as the source of the original report -- TFI Asset Management analyst Ming-Chi Kuo -- so you can't necessarily take today's news as confirmation of the November report; there's only a single source. Still, if the rumors pan out, it seems Apple could release its first AR headset in Q4 2022 and then quickly follow it up with an even better version 2.0 device as early as H2 2024.
MacRumors also notes that the version 1.0 device will actually be two devices in one, capable of switching from augmented reality (a look-through device with a sort of heads-up display that tells you more about what you see around you) to virtual reality (think metaverse) functionality. And it adds the detail that the first AR headset should weigh less than a pound -- anywhere from 11 to 14 ounces.
To put that in perspective, consider that a standard baseball cap weighs about 3 ounces. Want to get an idea of how wearing Apple's device will feel -- the better to figure out whether consumers will like the weight? Try putting on four or five baseball caps at once and see what it feels like to you.