Apple is said to be shipping its first mixed-reality headset in 2023, but the company’s next big thing may only be available in the U.S. at launch, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman said in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter.
The renowned leaker echoed an earlier report from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple won’t unveil its much-anticipated mixed-reality headset at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is slated for June 6-10.
However, Gurman believes that Apple will still lay the groundwork for its new product category, and the software that will power it, at the event. In fact, the world might even get its first look at “realityOS” — the operating system that Apple’s headset will run — at WWDC, judging by details found within recent trademark filings.
After all, Gurman noted that Apple’s mixed-reality plans encompass “an entire set of new VR- and AR-powered Apple apps and experiences, a slew of input paradigms never seen before on the company’s products and a completely new platform for third-party developers.” All of that is definitely going to require support from developers.
As always, WWDC this year will revolve largely around Apple’s software ecosystem. iOS and iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS 13, and tvOS 16 are all expected to take the stage next week.
However, that’s not to say that Apple will completely shy away from hardware announcements at the event. Gurman originally expected Apple to debut two new Macs at WWDC 2022, but he said in his newsletter that Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh with a next-generation M2 chip under the hood has possibly been delayed due to the recent lockdowns in China.
Production at MacBook assembly plants in China was severely hampered as the country imposed lockdowns in recent months to combat a COVID-19 outbreak. Customers were seeing wait times of up to two months for new MacBook Pro orders as a result, and the development of new models has also reportedly taken a hit.
When Apple’s successor to the M1 MacBook Pro from 2020 does launch, Gurman expects it to look the same as its predecessor, minus the Touch Bar.
The development of Apple’s next MacBook Air was also impacted, but Gurman believes a redesigned MacBook Air with the new M2 chip might still be on the cards for a WWDC reveal.
The new Air will be the biggest revamp to the device in over a decade, bringing in a new design not dissimilar to the latest MacBook Pros and new colors (including a dark blue and a champagne-like gold in addition to space gray and silver). You can expect a 13-inch display, a pair of USB-C ports, MagSafe charging, Touch ID, no Touch Bar and the possibility of a notch to match its pricier cousin.
If Apple does announce the new MacBook Air at WWDC, Gurman cautioned to “expect shortages or a non-immediate release date.”