Apple’s AR/VR Headset Predicted to Launch in January 2023: Kuo

According to a recent analysis of the VR/AR headset industry from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the upcoming launch of Apple’s mixed reality (MR) headset will disrupt the entire space and spur competition.

Meta, which has historically led the AR/VR movement, is reportedly reining in spending on hardware due to the economic recession. As such, the top spot in the industry is ripe for the taking, and Apple has the right pedigree for it.

“Apple will be a game-changer for headsets,” said Kuo. The analyst expects the release of Apple’s first mixed reality hardware offering to boost demand for immersive gaming and multimedia experiences, bring the company’s suppliers more business, and favour the tech giant’s stock price.

According to Kuo, he believes Apple’s headset device may likely be announced in January 2023. Usually, January is a slow time for tech announcements after the holiday quarter.

Apple could also trigger a second coming for innovation and competition in AR/VR headsets, Kuo said. Furthermore, Kuo believes Apple doesn’t need to join the Metaverse Standards Forum at this time since it is “an industry leader with significant competitive advantages.”

The Metaverse Standards Forum has been founded to create interoperable standards for emerging mixed reality technologies. Meta, Sony, Microsoft, Epic Games, Nvidia, Adobe, and others have joined as founding members.

Apple isn’t expected to start shipping its first mixed reality headset until 2023. The company did, however, start laying the groundwork for the new product category, and the software that will power it, at WWDC earlier this month.

Going by leaks and reports, Apple’s first mixed reality headset will be a complex design of unprecedented proportions. According to Kuo, it could be “the most complicated product Apple has ever designed.”

The headset will supposedly look like a pair of ski goggles and feature a lightweight design, two 4K micro OLED displays15 camera modules, two main processors, Wi-Fi 6E for connectivity, eye tracking, hand gesture controls, a see-through AR mode, and more. A report from earlier this month indicated Apple’s first mixed reality device may be a U.S.-exclusive at launch.