According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will “probably” release its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as early as January 2023.
In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple’s headset will be a “game-changer” for the augmented reality and virtual reality markets. Describing some of the headset’s functionality, Kuo said that while Apple has repeatedly touted its focus on AR, the headset will “provide an excellent immersive experience” and a “video see-thru” mode. The headset is expected to drive demand for immersive gaming and multimedia entertainment experiences.
Kuo said the device is “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed,” with Apple using components from many of its existing suppliers. Kuo also believes Apple will be a leader in headsets, have “significant competitive advantages” and not need to join the Metaverse Standards Forum. Specifically, Kuo thinks rivals will race to imitate Apple’s headset once it launches, “bringing the headset hardware industry into the next stage of rapid growth.”
While it was widely believed that Apple’s headset would launch this year, a report from Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman doubted the chances of the device hitting the market this year due to development issues. According to DigiTimesApple completed key production testing on the headset in February 2022 and is reportedly planning to begin mass production around August or September. Kuo’s prediction of lunch in January 2023 therefore seems broadly in line with other rumours.
Regardless of the exact timing, Apple’s headset project is believed to be “approaching launch,” with the device reflecting the Apple Watch’s development timeline in the pre-launch period. Apple’s work on the headset’s operating system, “realityOS,” has been rumored since 2017, but the OS’s existence was confirmed when references to it were found in the App Store’s upload logs and Apple’s open source code. .
The headset is rumored to have a lightweight design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, 15 optical modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, eye tracking, object tracking and hand gesture controls, and more. The estimated price of the device is still unclear, but some reports indicate that it could cost around $3,000.