Apple’s headset could be announced this spring ahead of Apple’s summer developer conference. It would go on sale in the fall or later.
- What’s happening? Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says an Apple headset announcement will finally happen this spring ahead of the WWDC in the summer.
- Why care? Better late than never! This rumored product was supposed to land on store shelves in 2020, then 2021 and then 2022.
- What to do? Hope you have $3,000 lying around because that’s what Apple could price the first version of its extended reality headset.
An Apple headset announcement this spring?
After several delays over technological problems and issues, an Apple headset could be announced sometime this spring. “Up until fairly recently, Apple had aimed to introduce the headset in January 2023 and ship it later this year,” Gurman writes in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter on Bloomberg.
“Now the company is aiming to unveil it this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, I’m told,” he continues.
A spring announcement would give developers and users some time to process the news, and then Apple could introduce tools for building augmented reality apps for the device at the WWDC23 in June. Read: How to use per-app settings on iPhone
Apple has already shared the device with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, letting them get started on third-party apps. The device’s operating system, dubbed “Borealis” inside the company, will be publicly named xrOS.
With the current plan, Apple could introduce the device to consumers — likely under the name Reality Pro — and then get developers up to speed on its software features in June. On this timeline, the company would then ship the product later in the fall of 2023.
This is the first time we hear that some developers have access to the device.
Ming-Chi Kuo first called for this
Gurman doesn’t say who his source is for spring launch info. Still, it could very well be reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently said development issues had postponed a planned Apple headset announcement until this spring. The analyst said Apple’s engineers had to fix problems with “mechanical component drop testing and the availability of software development tools.”
“It is increasingly unlikely Apple will hold a media event for the new device in January,” Kuo said. Earlier, he said shipments would start in the second half of 2023.
Sophisticated but pricey hardware
The main reason development is taking so long is sophisticated technology. An Apple headset is said to outperform all competition with its custom chips, operating system and app store. It would use two 4K micro-OLED panels to create a single 8K image, along with a bunch of cameras and sensors for eye and hand tracking.
An Apple headset could incorporate a physical Digital Crown-like dial for switching between the virtual world and the real one. Advanced hardware will command a premium price tag: Various sources have floated a $3,000 price point. However, an Apple headset sequel in 2025 could be more affordable than the first one.