Apple AR/VR headset could be here by January 2023
The buzz about the upcoming Apple AR/VR headset won’t go away, and now one of the leading Apple analysts in the business has weighed in to say that the device could be unveiled as early as January 2023.
9to5Mac. In industry note viewed by (opens in new tab)The generally credible Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that the new hardware could “likely” be announced in January 2023 – but he also says it may not go on sale to consumers at the same time.
There was talk that the headset would see the light of day at some point during 2022, although recent rumors were predicting a 2023 launch as Apple continues to refine the technology and make it suitable for a full launch.
The most complex Apple product ever
In his note, Kuo described the AR/VR headset as “the most complex product Apple has ever designed” and a “game-changer for the headset industry”. There’s also an acknowledgment that Meta may start spending less on virtual reality hardware.
“Although Apple has repeatedly reiterated its focus on AR, I believe that Apple AR/MR supporting video see-through can also provide an excellent immersive experience,” says Kuo. (opens in new tab), “Therefore, the launch of Apple AR/MR will further fuel the demand for immersive gaming/multimedia entertainment.”
Earlier this week Apple CEO Tim Cook said he “couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities” in augmented reality and virtual reality, and that any future product needs to be successful “with humanity at the center”. should have”.
Analysis: What we think we know so far
Apple executives have long been talking up the possibilities offered by augmented reality, or AR, which is overlaying digital graphics on the real world. Rumor has it that Apple is working on a pair of lightweight AR glasses at the moment.
At the same time, a more fully featured (and expensive) device is believed to be in the pipeline, which Ming-Chi Kuo is talking about here. It clearly combines AR with virtual reality or VR – digital worlds that are more or less fully enclosed, as we’ve seen with hardware like the Oculus Quest 2.
This combination of AR and VR, sometimes referred to as mixed reality or MR, appears to be destined for Apple’s next big product launch. Rumors have it that it is going to run the same M1 chips as can be found in Apple’s laptops and tablets, and that it will be based on a new software platform called RealityOS.
From what we’ve heard, it’s shaping up to be a premium device and is going to come with a premium price tag: probably something in the region of $3,000 (about £2,450 / AU$4,320). We probably won’t have to wait long to find out.