Apple plans to announce its long-awaited AR/VR headset in the spring, prior to the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The device’s release date would coincide with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s prediction for the fall of 2023.
Apple’s AR/VR headset is set to launch this year
In the latest edition of his “Power On,” newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman reveals that Apple is ready to launch its first mixed-reality headset, a product that has been in development for seven years. Gurman also says that the “focus on this new product will lead to an otherwise muted 2023.”
I first wrote in 2017 about Apple’s ambition to launch a high-performance AR-based headset — complete with its own operating system, App Store and dedicated chips. Back then, Apple had aimed to get it to market by 2019. Over time, the delays stacked up. Apple had plans to launch the device in 2020, then 2021 and then 2022.
Apple initially planned to unveil the headset in January 2023. The tech giant wants to debut it in the spring ahead of WWDC in June. Apple will likely introduce the device to consumers under the name Reality Pro. Developers will be given extra information and resources about the device in WWDC. The product will be available for purchase in the fall of this year.
According to Gurman, a limited group of developers has already received prototype hardware for testing. He claims that Apple still needs to sort out a number of “kinks” in the hardware and software and that the product is far from finished.
Gurman also says that to ensure the launch of the mixed-reality headset goes smoothly, Apple has “roped in resources from several hardware and software engineering departments.” Unfortunately, the development of this ambitious product has taken the focus away from other projects.
Although Apple’s long-awaited headset will be the highlight of 2023, the tech giant still has some exciting product launches planned for this year. Gurman reveals that an Apple Silicon Mac Pro, refreshed MacBook Pro and a 15-inch MacBook Air variant will arrive this year. In addition, Apple plans to launch a big HomePod – similar to the 2018 model.