Apple’s much-anticipated AR/VR headset may not be announced at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, according to a recent tweet by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
[Update: April 26, 2023: According to a recent supply chain report, Foxconn subsidiary GIS has activated a production line for the lens assembly of Apple’s upcoming headset. The report also suggests that Lixun will be responsible for assembling the lenses. The Economic Daily News report released on Wednesday further adds that the volume production will begin in the second quarter, which started on April 1 and will continue until the third quarter.
It’s unclear whether this development will result in the shipment of headsets in significant volumes following the Worldwide Developers Conference 2023. It’s possible that the initial production is intended for developer kits, similar to how Apple handled the PowerPC shift to Intel and then to Apple Silicon.]
Ahmed Chenni, Freelancer.com
Apple’s AR/VR headset: delayed mass production and lower shipment forecast
Kuo’s tweet suggests that Apple is not optimistic about the market feedback on the device, and has pushed back mass production.
Because Apple isn’t very optimistic about the AR/MR headset announcement recreating the astounding “iPhone moment,” the mass production schedule for assembly has been pushed back by another 1-2 months to mid-to-late 3Q23. The delay also adds uncertainty to whether the new device…
The delay in the headset production is likely to impact the shipment forecast for this year, which is expected to be lower than the market consensus of 500,000 units or more. Kuo cites several reasons for Apple’s lack of optimism, including the economic downturn, compromises on some hardware specifications for mass production, the readiness of the ecosystem and applications, and a high selling price of $3,000-$4,000 or even higher.
The headset is expected to feature 4K OLED displays in front of each eye, an exterior screen showing the user’s facial expressions, and over a dozen cameras and sensors to capture body movement and facial expressions. At least one camera within the headset is also expected to focus on the wearer’s eye movement, enabling the device to detect when battery-saving steps can be taken without interrupting the user’s attention.
Despite the hype surrounding the device, recent reports suggest that Apple’s industrial design team was initially hesitant to launch the device in 2023, citing the need for a lightweight, Apple Glass-style headset. However, Apple reportedly decided to move forward with the launch despite this advice, under pressure to ship the device.
Apple’s AR/VR headset has been in the works for several years and is seen as a significant milestone in the company’s push into augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. However, it remains to be seen whether the device will live up to expectations, particularly given the high price point and the challenges involved in mass production.
While it’s disappointing for many tech enthusiasts that the AR/VR headset may not get an announcement at WWDC, it’s important to remember that Apple always takes time to ensure its products are ready for the market. This delay may indicate that the company is working on improving the headset’s specifications, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any future announcements from the tech giant.