Apple’s First AR/VR Headset Delayed to Second Half of 2023: Kuo

Apple’s long-awaited AR/VR headset may not start shipping until the second half of 2023 due to a delay caused by some “software-related issues,” according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo previously had the headset pegged for a second-quarter release. He said in a tweet that his sources indicate components for the mixed-reality headset are still on track to start shipping in the first half of next year, but fully assembled headsets won’t ship until the latter half.

The analyst also slashed his shipment forecast for Apple’s foray into the AR/VR space. He now expects Apple to only ship 500,000 headsets in 2023, against a market consensus of 800,000-1,200,000.

Kuo further speculated that Apple may hold off on a public reveal of the headset, which most analysts (himself included) have been expecting to come at an event in January 2023 (or close), until closer to the mass shipment schedule.

Apple was originally (and optimistically) expected to unveil its mixed-reality headset at WWDC earlier this year. However, with the delay, WWDC 2023 in June of next year could actually be an ideal time for Apple to unveil it on stage. The company could announce the headset and simultaneously release an SDK for developers to create AR/VR apps for the device.

Kuo’s information indicates that Apple’s first headset will hit shelves in the second half of 2023, even if it is announced sooner.

Previous reports have suggested that Apple’s debut AR/VR headset will be a premium offering that may cost around $3,000 USD (approximately $4,000 CAD). To justify that price tag, it will be powered by an M2 chip alongside a mixed reality-focused co-processor, which will together drive multiple 4K micro OLED displays and a see-through AR mode.

The headset will reportedly feature a sleek design made of lightweight materials and run on Apple’s “xrOS.” It will also have over a dozen camera modules, iris scanning, eye tracking, and hand gesture controls.

Apple’s first mixed-reality headset may be geared toward professionals, and therefore too rich for some pockets. According to the rumour mill, the company will follow up with a second-gen model a year or two later that may also offer a more budget-friendly option.