Apple Inc. AAPL has reportedly changed its mixed reality headset software name as it ramps up work on the device that might launch next year.
What Happened: Apple has internally changed the name of the mixed reality operating system from “realityOS” to “xrOS,” reported Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
In the new name, “XR” stands for extended reality — a term comprehending augmented and virtual reality. While augmented reality overlays graphics and virtual details over the real world, virtual reality encompasses experiences for gaming and watching videos.
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The tech giant intends to introduce the mixed reality headset as soon as next year, accompanied by a dedicated operating system and app store for third-party software, said the people. This will be the first significant new product category since the Tim Cook-led company released the Apple Watch in 2015.
Apple did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.
Why It’s Important: The launch estimate told by people familiar with the matter aligns with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions, who stated that Apple could roll out the device between January and the second quarter of 2023.
Apple’s push into the market sets it up for a showdown with Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. META, which unveiled its latest VR headset, Quest Pro, in October.
While Meta Quest Pro is priced at $1500, Apple’s first device in the mixed reality market could be expensive. The headset is also said to have the powerful M2 chip, embedded in the latest Macs, the report noted.