Apple’s AR/VR headset ‘probably coming out’ in January, says Ming-Chi Kuo

Apple’s mixed reality headset will “probably be released in January 2023,” according to trusted supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The latest release date prediction was shared in a new analyst note examining the growth focus of the VR headset industry.

Apple VR headset release

Specifically, the analysis looks at how the industry will change in the coming months as Facebook-turned-Meta faces the iPhone maker competing in the VR headset space. Kuo argues that Meta has been key to the growth of the VR industry in recent years as it sold VR headsets for less.

The VR industry is maturing, Kuo says, so much so that a Meta withdrawal wouldn’t hurt the industry. Instead, Meta would reduce its investment in VR hardware, which would benefit other VR headset makers as the industry expands.

In addition, the huge potential demand in the Chinese market and Apple AR/MR, which is likely to be released in January 2023, will also benefit the continued rapid growth of the headset sector, Kuo writes. That’s ahead of schedule compared to Kuo’s forecast earlier this month.

Apple’s mixed reality headset was once believed to be something that could launch in 2022, but both hardware and software setbacks required more development time.

Industry game changer

The analyst also suspects that Meta may withdraw its investment in VR hardware in the near term as it refocuses on its primary business model. Advertising powered by the social network Facebook is grounding a corner at Meta, thanks in part to Apple’s ATT privacy policy on iPhone.

As for Apple, Kuo says the company is “a game-changer for the headset industry”.

“While Apple has repeatedly reiterated its focus on AR, I believe that Apple AR/MR support from video see-thru can also provide an excellent immersive experience,” predicts Kuo. “Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further fuel the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”

The analyst describes Apple’s headset as “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed,” which is saying something for the iPhone company.

Finally, Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that Apple competitors will imitate the design of the company’s mixed reality headset and, as a result, propel the entire industry forward.

You can stay up to date with the latest news about Apple’s mixed reality headset with 9to5Macs Guide to Apple headsets.

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