A sketchy rumor has the price of the Apple AR/VR headset starting at $1,999

Apple’s mixed reality headset will come in multiple configuration options and will have a starting price of $1,999, not the roughly $3,000 we’d been led to believe, according to a last-minute shady rumor out of Asia.

Depiction of Marcus Kane’s Apple headset concept

Ahead of the expected unveiling of Apple’s AR/VR headset at WWDC, rumors have it that the device’s price tag will be fairly constant at around $3,000, which would make it significantly more expensive than competing products priced around Cost $300 to $900.

The $3,000 figure first appeared in a 2021 report by The Information and has since been endorsed by other reputable media outlets. In fact, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has described the headset as an “expensive niche precursor” to a more ambitious product, has warned that the device will not initially be aimed at general consumers, but will instead be positioned as a device for developers. Content creators and professionals.

However, according to a rumor picked up by news aggregator account yeux1122 on the Korean Naver blog, the so-called “Reality One” or “Reality Pro” headset will have a starting price of $1,999. This is more in line with the standard numbers quoted in much earlier reports of the headset’s incipient development, although the source of this latest rumor is unknown and the blog has reported false rumors in the past so these should be treated with caution.

However, the rumor brings back memories of the original launch of the iPad and Steve Jobs’ clever use of the anchor effect to influence perceptions of value. Before Apple introduced the “iPad,” analysts and rumors assumed it would cost $999. Jobs even put that number on a presentation slide during the announcement, before casually revealing that the actual starting price was actually $499. Thanks to the initial price anchor, it found a great deal from the audience.

Apple’s forthcoming headset will cost the company around $1,500 per unit to manufacture, according to a series of reports that came out of Asia in May 2023. According to Gurman, Apple originally planned to sell the headset at a loss, but then decided to sell it at the approximate price.

Including packaging, shipping, and marketing, the total cost of the headset is likely well below its purported retail price of $3,000, albeit by a much smaller margin than most other Apple products. We were able to learn the headset’s official price on Monday during Apple’s opening WWDC keynote, but the device isn’t expected to go on sale until much later in the year, perhaps in the run-up to the holidays.