Apple’s AR/VR Headset Might Not Arrive Next Week, After All

Apple’s AR/VR Headset Might Not Arrive Next Week, After All

Apple’s WWDC event is just days away, and while software updates are guaranteed, we still don’t know for certain what hardware will debut. Refreshed versions of existing products are always a possibility, but what we really want to see from Apple is an entirely new device.

Unfortunately, whatever chance there was of Apple debuting a new product this summer appears to be fading. For a moment, it seemed that Apple might finally take the wraps off its mysterious AR/VR headset — a device that’s been the subject of countless rumours (1, 2, and 3) over the past few years. However, prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has now snuffed out our hopes for that possibility, explaining in a tweet why the Cupertino tech giant won’t show its headset this year.

The reasons, it seems, are twofold. First, mass production of the “AR/MR” (augmented and mixed reality) headset won’t happen for some time, according to Kuo. So WWDC would be too early for a reveal. Moreover, should Apple debut its headset with full specs, it’d give competitors a blueprint for copycatting.

Kuo then casually adds that Apple will launch in “2023,” echoing analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities, who similarly said the product will be delayed until early 2023.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the AR/VR headset won’t be mentioned at all. At some point, Apple will need to hype its mixed reality platforms, so developers feel compelled to build AR/VR apps and optimise their existing ones for a new platform. Another piece of the puzzle is iOS 16, which is expected to debut with several new AR/VR technologies. Moreover, software developers recently unearthed references to “realityOS” in App Store upload logs and GitHub repositories used by Apple, suggesting we could learn about Apple’s mixed-reality platform before any hardware debuts.

Even if we don’t get our ticket into Apple’s mixed reality world metaverse, there has been mumbling about the company debuting a redesigned MacBook Air or a refreshed MacBook Pro 13. We could also see an updated iMac and a Mac mini running on an M2 chip. Of course, this is all conjecture. If you want to see what Apple has in store next week, check out our “how to watch WWDC” guide, which has a breakout of what to expect at the event.