While we fully expect the Apple VR/AR headset to get its official reveal at WWDC on June 5, it likely won’t be available for purchase right away. Or if it is, it certainly won’t ship for a while. Most rumors indicate that despite a WWDC launch event, the Apple Reality Pro won’t be available until later in the fall.
And this latest rumor seemingly cements that plan of action. According to MacRumors, Morgan Stanley analyst Erik Woodring expects that mass production is expected to commence in October 2023 with shipments to begin “most likely ahead of the December holidays.”
This tracks with the rumors we've seen, so it would not be a surprise for Apple’s release schedule for its new VR headset to follow this schedule. The mixed reality device is reportedly in the “supply chain delivery stage” and is on track to ramp up to mass production between July and September. So Apple hitting peak mass production in October 2023 would fall in line with those previous estimates.
When will you be able to get an Apple VR/AR headset?
There are a couple of factors regarding when you can get your hands on a new Apple headset. The biggest one? Money. The headset is expected to cost $3,000 — six times the price of the newly announced Meta Quest 3. And while the Reality Pro will almost certainly be the superior headset, that’s still an eyewatering price tag.
The other concern? There might not be a ton of headsets available at first. A recent report had pegged the Reality Pro at just 100,000 units shipped in 2023. Still, we had seen another report just a week before suggesting that Apple would produce 300,000 units in year one, which falls in line with Woodring’s proposed range of 300,000 to 500,000 units in 2023.
Finally, even if you have the money and there’s a headset available this holiday season, you may need an Apple store appointment to try one out. Recent speculation suggests that Apple may take the same approach with the Apple VR/AR headset as they did with the $17,000 gold Apple Watch Edition, meaning you’ll need to book an appointment to try out the first-generation Apple VR headset.
But we should know more about the headset when it debuts during the Apple Keynote at WWDC 2023. So follow along with all our WWDC coverage so you don’t miss a thing.
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Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.
Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.