Apple has been rumoured to be working on a mixed-reality headset - one that blends elements of the real and the virtual for business and entertainment applications - for many years, and now the project seems to be nearing completion.

These things are relative, however, and development isn't quite advanced enough for a launch before the end of the year. Production will instead start in the second quarter of 2022 - if we are to believe a new report from the (Chinese-language) Taiwanese outlet DigiTimes - which means that sales are likely to kick off next autumn.

"The supply chain revealed that Apple's first AR headset has completed P2, the second phase of prototype testing," writes the site (via Google Translate), "and is expected to be mass-produced in the second quarter of 2022 and... to come out in the second half of the year."

According to The Elec, the headset will feature a high-resolution micro-OLED display from South Korea's APS Holdings with an exceptionally high pixel density of 3,000ppi (pixels per inch). This is vastly higher than most commercially available screens - the iPhone 13 Pro Max's display is 458ppi, for example - but it needs to be higher because it will be positioned so much closer to the eye. A very high pixel density should ensure that the experience is as lifelike as possible.

It's understood that Apple is working on two separate mixed-reality projects: an enclosed headset and a more discreet set of smart glasses. If you want to read more rumours about what's in store, check out our regularly updated Apple AR glasses and Apple VR headset news hubs.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price. Main image is a concept illustration of a theoretical 'Apple View' headset by Antonio de Rosa.