Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset was previously reported to be on track for shipments in the first half of 2023. However, that timeframe has now been pushed back to the second half of next year, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Development of Apple’s AR/VR headset facing “software-related issues”
In mid-November, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple’s mixed-reality headset is on track for a first-quarter launch in 2023. Gurman even revealed that the tech giant had begun to ramp up the development of the device, based on several job listings.
Unfortunately, now it seems like Apple will launch the mixed-reality device in the second half of 2023. In a new Twitter thread, Ming-Chi Kuo said that while mass shipments of components for the device will likely begin in the first half of 2023, mass production of the headsets will not start until the second half of the year. Kuo cites “software-related issues,” as the reason for the delay.
This means that the headset will launch in the second half of 2023. However, it is still possible that Apple may announce it in the first half of the year. If the headset is announced in the first quarter of 2023 and launched in the second half of the year, sales may suffer. Therefore, some people speculate that the tech giant may choose to announce the device in June, at WWDC 2023.
It still needs to be determined whether the media event schedule (previously estimated in January 2023) will also delay, but usually, if the time frame between the media event and end product mass shipment is too long, it’s detrimental to promotion and sales.
Also related to sales, Kuo says that due to the postponed mass shipment of the headset, its shipment forecast in 2023 will likely be less than 500k units. The market consensus regarding the shipments of the device previously was 800k-1,200k units.
From previous reports, we know that the headset will be priced between $2,000 and $3,000 as it will be geared toward professionals. It will also feature Apple’s M2 chip, 10+ cameras on the outside and inside, and the “highest-resolution displays ever featured in a mass-market headset,” according to Gurman.
In addition, the device will run on realityOS. The software will include a mixed-reality version of native iOS apps such as Messages, Facetime, and Maps.