There aren’t many Apple-branded products that live solely in the rumor mill anymore, aside from the likes of the Apple Car. But the company’s headset, which could be a mixed-reality headset, is certainly one of them. There were expectations that the new device could finally see its big unveiling happen in 2022. But that may not be the case any longer.
A new report from Bloomberg states that Apple may be running into a little bit of a snag with the near-final version of its augmented reality/virtual reality headset. Overheating, to be specific, among other issues. And those problems may be putting a damper on the company’s initial plans to debut the headset at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (or even at its September event later this year).
Now, the publication believes these issues could see Apple announce the headset in 2023 at the earliest. But that’s only if these issues can’t be figured out within a reasonable amount of time. If that does happen, an announcement in June of this year is still possible.
From the report:
The headset — a high-end device that blends virtual and augmented reality — was targeted for an unveiling at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, followed by a release later in the year. But development challenges related to overheating, cameras and software have made it harder to stay on track, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
That could push the announcement until the end of 2022 or later, with the product hitting shelves by 2023, the people said.
Making sure the headset remains comfortable with extended use is a vital element of any product like this. And, apparently, the M1-level processors Apple is using inside the headset is making that difficult. But, the shift in focus for a launch could benefit Apple, to a point. For instance, next year’s WWDC could put a primary focus on helping developers build AR/VR apps:
Apple is planning to focus its 2023 developers conference on building virtual and augmented reality apps for the device, which will have an App Store, according to the people.
It’s also laying other groundwork for the headset. That includes building in support for the device in iOS 16, codenamed Sydney, a new version of the iPhone’s operating system that’s set to be unveiled in June.
However, the report also states that Apple could still begin laying the groundwork –without showing a product– as early as this year:
That means Apple could still theoretically preview technical aspects of the headset or its software, without showcasing the full device, as early as this year’s developer conference.
Nothing about the AR/VR headset is official right now. But, it was certainly sounding more and more like we could finally see the product get revealed this year. This potential setback may change all that. Whatever happens, rumors say the upcoming headset may feature three “innovative” displays, should support advanced hand tracking, and more.
What do you think? Are we going to see a mixed reality headset with an Apple logo launch sometime this year?