Apple AR/VR headset launch could come as soon as March

apple vr and mixed reality headset fan render front view on blue background
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

The Apple AR/VR headset will now likely appear this spring, or perhaps later in the summer of this year, according to the latest claims from reliable Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Before, Kuo had said Apple would hold a January 2023 launch for the new AR/VR headset. But now that we're in January 2023, and according to his latest findings, he says that's looking less and less likely.

The reason for this delay, Kuo claims, is that the headset's shipping date is also getting pushed back. He claims Apple's having issues with "mechanical component drop testing and the availability of software development tools," so he says we may be waiting until the end of Q2 or Q3 of this year before the headset goes on sale.

Apple often holds a spring product reveal event each year, typically in March. While this doesn't happen every year, it's looking to be a safe bet for 2023 since there are five rumored new Macs tipped for a March release too.

The other likely debut venue for the headset, WWDC, is Apple's annual developer conference, usually held in June. Apple may well want to pitch the headset and its development tools to developers first, so they can build out the software ecosystem before consumers get a hold of the headset later in the year as Kuo suggests. And while it's a software-first event, Apple sometimes announces a couple of new products during the WWDC keynote, such as the MacBook Air M2 and 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 last year.

Whenever it does arrive, the Apple AR/VR headset looks set to impress, with rumored features such as dual 4K displays, at least a dozen external tracking cameras and Apple M2 chip power. All these features will apparently require Apple to charge around $3,000, a lot more expensive than most users can afford. Fortunately, the AR/VR headset is rumored to be then followed up by the Apple Glasses, a lower-powered, and more importantly cheaper, AR device.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.