Apple Mixed Reality Headset May Not Appear at WWDC Due to Production Delays: Kuo

Yesterday, Apple announced that its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is due to take place June 5th. With this announcement, many believed this opened the opportunity for Apple to finally releveal it long-rumoured mixed reality headset. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

It’s been widely believed that Apple was prepping for an unveiling of its AR/VR headset at WWDC. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now believes that Apple is delaying the mass production of the headset by one or two months. This now brings the tentative schedule for production to ” mid-to-late 3Q23.” Thus, Kuo believes that there is now “uncertainty to whether the new device will appear at WWDC 2023.”

WWDC is Apple’s annual conference, dedicated to supporting third-party developers. Each year, Apple hosts a keynote conference where it usually debuts the new iOS update, other software innovations, and a piece of tech or two. This year, Apple was likely to reveal its first mixed reality headset, exepcted to launch with a price tag of $3,000 USD.  It’s believed the headset will feature multiple 4K OLED displays and over a doze camera modules, eye-tracking, and more.

However, Kuo believes that Apple’s headset may not be able to recreate “the astounding iPhone moment.” Much of this is due to an industry-wide cool down effect towards the metaverse. Kuo also cites “economic downturn” and “compromises on some hardware specifications.”

It also appears as though Apple may be scaling back its production targets as well. In late last year, Kuo believed that Apple would ship 500,000 units in 2023. At the time, this number was already significantly lower than estimates from the market concensus. Now, Kuo believes the total number of units shipped could be as low as 200,000 to 300,000.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been pushing for the company to launch the product. However, despite having internal demos, staff have objected to launching the headset prematurely.

As a result, the market and its current disuasion to the metaverse may catch up to Apple prior to its launch. However, with a good business model and software primed for the Apple ecosystem, Apple may be able to make it the killer piece of hardware many hope it to be.