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Apple is looking to reduce the price of its long-awaited mixed-reality (MR) headset, reports from Bloomberg and The Information said citing sources from within the company that are directly involved in the project.

This device will come to compete with Meta Platforms (META) Quest Pro headset, which costs approximately $1,500. The first version of Apple’s MR headset, which is expected to hit the market this year, should cost around $3,000. However, the company is pressuring engineers to produce a cheaper version that could be released a year or two from now.

Apple would be exploring the possibility of using cheaper components such as chips from the iPhone instead of more expensive components from its personal computers to power the MR gadget.

These same reports indicated that the release of the company’s augmented reality (AR) glasses has been postponed.

Apple Apparently Has a Lot in Store for the AR/VR Market

Back in October, sources familiar with Apple’s MR project indicated that the upcoming gadget will include a total of 14 cameras – four more than the Quest Pro – and an iris scanner to facilitate login and checkout procedures.

The Cupertino-based tech firm has also been equipping its other devices for the imminent release of AR/VR apps. For example, iPhones now come with LiDAR technology. This is a feature that uses the phone’s camera and motion sensors to detect the distance of objects to create augmented reality experiences.

Apple is betting big on the AR/VR market as its Chief Executive Officer, Tim Cook, believes that this is a space that offers promising growth prospects for the firm. In contrast, the tech executive has downplayed the relevance of the so-called metaverse.

Asked about the progress of the firm’s AR/VR initiatives, Cook told analysts during the firm’s Q3 2022 that they were “thrilled” about the fact that they have more than 14,000 ARKit apps that work with the iPhone and iPad at the moment.

He asserted that Apple is “in the business of innovation” and that they were always “exploring new and emerging technologies”. However, he declined from making any more comments about what’s coming.

A recent report from Evercore ISI indicated that Apple will be boosting several of its “moonshot projects” including the mixed-reality device that will soon be launching and its follow-ups.

Just yesterday, Apple launched new versions of its Macbook Pro laptops and a new model of the Mac Mini. The price of the renewed Mini will start at $599 and will include the firm’s in-house manufactured M2 chips. It will be available to consumers starting today.

Apple’s Growth Largely Depends on What Happens to the Global Economy This Year

For the first time in many years, Apple (AAPL) will be dealing with the possibility of a global recession at a point when inflation is ravaging the pockets of consumers. Many of Apple’s devices now cost more than a thousand dollars and the demand for credit could drop as higher interest rates could deter borrowers from assuming new financial commitments.

Meanwhile, competition in the smartphone space is heating up as Samsung took over leadership in 2022 according to figures provided by Canalys that indicated a 22% market share for the South Korean consumer electronics giant and 19% for the firm founded by Steve Jobs.

The report estimate “flat-to-marginal” growth in this particular market in 2023. It also predicts that vendors will have to make decisions to at least maintain their market share while preserving the profitability of the business.

In 2022, Apple stock lost more than a quarter of its value as the Federal Reserve and other major central banks aggressively hiked their interest rates. According to a report from The Conference Board, the US recession has a 98% chance of entering a recessionary cycle in the next 12 months.

The firm is expected to report its earnings covering the entire 2023 fiscal year on 2 February after the market closes.

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